Very superstitious

Hello my lovely weirdos! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time (or whatever event you have celebrated..or not celebrated). During these days I’ve read tons of ancient superstions that I found very interesting, so I’ve decided to gather them in this post. Well, probably I should’ve warned you before Christmas, let’s just hope you didn’t pissed off any evil force.

  • We all tend to spend Christmas Eve with our family, furry friends included, and stay up until midnight, but a legend has it that our feline friends acquire the power of speech at this time so anyone hearing this temporary “cat speak” will soon die.

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  • If you plan on hosting a Christmas dinner at your home, make sure you invite an even number of guests because a table set for an odd number merely invites bad luck or even death in the new year.
  • Those who are born on Christmas Eve turn into ghosts on that day every year while they sleep. If you were born on Christmas Eve and don’t want to have this happen to you, the remedy is to count the holes in a sieve from 11 o’clock on Christmas Eve until morning.
  • If you carry in your pocket a scale from a fish eaten at Christmas, your purse will be full all year.
  • An English superstition says that if you don’t give a pair of shoes to a poor person at least once in your lifetime, you will enter the next world barefoot. This leads to an influx of shoes being donated to charity shops at Christmas time.

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  • It’s unlucky to light a Yule Candle before supper on Christmas. It’s also unlucky to buy your own Yule candle or to snuff it before Christmas Eve ends, it should be left to burn itself out. If the candle is disturbed or snuffed out, back luck will befall the household. A portion of the candle should be kept to light the following years candle for good luck. A candle or lamp must be burned all night on Christmas Eve or there will be a death in the home.
  • The last day to indulge your Christmas time superstition is Candlemas (Feb. 2). Christmas decorations must be entirely taken down before the twelfth night after Christmas or goblins and bad luck will come. But be careful what you burn: it’s unlucky to burn Christmas greenery (except for mistletoe). Every leaf left up after Candlemas will result in either a goblin seen or a death in the house during the year.

Now, as we’re getting closer to New Year’s eve, here’s a list of superstitions that surround this day:

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  • We kiss those dearest to us at midnight not only to share a moment of celebration with our favorite people, but also to ensure those affections and ties will continue throughout the next twelve months. To fail to smooch our significant others at the stroke of twelve would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.
  • Make sure to do — and be successful at — something related to your work on the first day of the year, even if you don’t go near your place of employment that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky
  • At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded. It must leave before the New Year comes in, says popular wisdom, so doors are flung open to assist it in finding its way out.
  • Italian people welcome the New Year in an extremely interesting way, by tossing old things out of their windows! Old things are tossed out in an effort to make room for the new and lucky to enter their households and lives in the year to come.
  • Lucky foods which should be consumed on New Years Eve is lentil soup and pork. Chicken should not be eaten on the first day of the year or you will have financial difficulties for the rest of the year.
  • Whatever a person does on this day will influence his activity for the rest of the year. Therefore to wash clothes will bring a year of hard
    work. Washing may also cause a relative’s death. Certain tasks were not to be done between Christmas and New Year’s Day–among them were knitting, sewing and doing the family laundry.
  • Crying on the first day of the year must be avoided. One must always be happy and in good spirits on New Year’s day. If you cry on New Years’ for a sad reason you will have sadness all throughout the year.

I’m sure I’m missing a few, please let me know if you have some interesting New Year’s eve/New Year’s day traditions that I might have missed. I do hope that you’re going to have a wonderful new year, that you’re going to realize all of your projects and dreams… weird dreams as well! Thank you all for keeping me company during this 2015, not the most exciting year for me, but definitely quite interesting!

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Elle. xx

 

 

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Christmas: A Guide for Weirdos!

I’m not a Christmassy person at all and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So I’ve decided to write a “guide” for all the weirdos out there in the world who are in need of an advice on how to “survive” during the most annoying time of the year. I guess the only silver lining is that we can all get drunk and eat A LOT, because you know, it’s tradition! Anyway, whether you celebrate Christmas or another event, or even if you don’t celebrate at all, here’s a list of movies that I watch during this holiday season and that make everything a lot more bearable (especially the dinners with parents you only see on Christmas!).

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Optography

For hundreds of years, people had wondered whether it might be possible to capture an image of our last vision at the point of death, such idea  was a frequent plot device in fiction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the extent that police photographed the victims’ eyes in several real-life murder investigations, in case the theory was true. The idea behind optography dates back to the 17th century when a friar named Christopher Schiener noticed a strange image in the eye of a dead frog.

It wasn’t until the invention of photography in the 1840s, however, that “optography” emerged as a scientific pursuit. The German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne began preserving eyeballs and believed that eye worked like a camera, and that a certain chemical found in the retina could cause a reaction similar to that of a photographic negative. His most successful optogram was obtained from an albino rabbit, with its head fastened to face a barred window. The rabbit’s head was covered for several minutes to allow rhodopsin to accumulate on the retina. It was then uncovered for three minutes to expose it to the light, then decapitated and its eyeball sliced from top to bottom. The rear half of the eye was placed in an alum solution to enable fixation of the bleached rhodopsin, which resulted in a distinct image of the barred windows.

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Kühne was satisfied with the results and wanted to try his experiment on a human subject next. His opportunity arose in 1880, when a man named Erhard Gustav Reif was sentenced to death by guillotine after drowning his two young sons in the river.  Kühne immediately retrieved the murderer’s decapitated head, removed the eyeballs, and reported seeing “violent and disturbing movements” on the dead man’s retina. The ambiguity of these images was attributed to the fact that the prisoner was blindfolded at the moment of his death.

Jules Verne even wrote about it in a novel called Les Frères Kip. The practice’s potential freaked out murderers of the day, causing some to destroy their victims’ eyes for fear of being caught in the retinal frame.

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Other similar experiments were carried out in the 1880s and 1890s. It was even suggested that an optogram should be produced from the eye of Mary Jane Kelly, one of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Ripperologist James Stewart-Gordon believed the technique was attempted on Annie Chapman as well. A rare case of forensic optography being admitted as evidence occurred in late 1924, after German merchant Fritz Angerstein had been charged with killing eight members of his family and household staff. Professor Doehne of the University of Cologne photographed the retinas of two of the victims, yielding what he claimed were images of Angerstein’s face and an axe used to kill the gardener. Angerstein was tried, convicted and executed, with Doehne’s optographic images included amongst other evidence in the case.

The last serious scientific attempt at retrieving images from retinas took place in 1975 when police in Heidelberg, Germany, invited the physiologist Evangelos Alexandridis to repeat Kuhne’s experiments. Like Kühne, Alexandridis successfully produced a number of distinct high-contrast images from the eyes of rabbits, but conclusively negatively assessed the technique as a forensic tool. The retinal images were then photographed, some of which can be seen below from the Museum of Optography.

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…so be good for Krampus’s sake!

Hey! I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted anything during this time but life is getting pretty hectic. I’m studying a lot and Christmas is getting closer so it’s all pure madness. I’ve never really liked this time of the year, I’ve always been the “Grinch” of the situation, who knows why?! But honestly, I can’t wait for this year to be over. Who’s with me?
Speaking of Christmas, with all its traditions around the globe, this year Krampus is having his/its big Hollywood time! I’ve seen Krampus themed things in every social network so out of curiosity I did some research about this all creepy topic.

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The customs of the holiday season, which include St. Nicholas Day, New Years Day, and Epiphany, as well as Christmas, often incorporate earlier pagan traditions that have been appropriated and adapted for contemporary use. Customs that encourage little children to be good, so as to deserve their Christmas gifts from Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, often come with a dark side: the punishment you’ll receive from a monster or evil being of some sort if you are not good! The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

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Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns. Krampus night is celebrated on December 5th, the eve of St. Nicholas Day in Austria and other parts of Europe. Public celebrations that night have many Krampuses walking the streets, looking for people to beat. Alcohol is also involved. Injuries in recent years have led to some reforms, such as requiring all Krampuses to wear numbers so they may identified in case of overly violent behavior. The tradition is spreading beyond Europe, many cities in America have their own Krampus Nights including the Krampusfest in Los Angeles!

So, have you been a good kid for this year?

Elle. x

The ghost who walks in the picture.

Here we are with another spooky story. It is quite old but I still find it fascinating, mainly because I have a “thing” for old pictures. Little fact about me: I find old photographs so interesting that I actually collect them!

I’m not 100% sure if this story is real or it is the nth urban legend, but I thought it would have been interesting to share it anyway.

1997. Rory O’Donoghue works at a photo lab in Cork, northwest of Ireland, between green fields, farming villages and industrial landscapes. Rory has a passion for photography so he decides to go it alone and taking over a photo lab that had been closed for years. During the renovation of the store Rory found an envelope with an old roll of film inside. There’s a date wtitten on the envelope “July ’65”. The film was used, so out of curiosity Rory develops itthe film contains a single photo. It is the picture of an old cottage, like the many other you can find in the irish coutryside.

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Anyway, Rory decides to print the negative and do an enlargement of the photograph. The photo wasn’t anything exceptional but its apparent normality had something magnetic. He then placed the picture in an envelope and returned back home.

But around midnight he noticed that something in the photograph is “different”. The picture is no longer the same as a human figure appeared in it. In complete disbelief of what happened runs to take his camera to take some snapshots of the strange effect

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After a few hours he noticed that the figure in the picture moved again assuming the feature of a woman dressed in black. Increasingly amazed, he continued to take snapshots all night. The human figure in the picture kept moving very slowly, stabilizing every hour.

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It’s been a really scary night for Rory, to the point of making him tell everything to his wife and to a few close family members, afraid of not being believed.

Only in 2007, the grandson of Rory D. who was on a trip in the countryside of Cork, next to a Medieval church and an abandoned cemetery saw a building that was somehow familiar. So he asked some questions around and learned that it had been the residence of a very noble family, the Brandville. The last male heir, as an infant, had mysteriously disappeared in the night of his crib. The mother committed suicide in that house while his father, mad, remained in the cottage until his death. The cottage is still there, in the countryside of Cork in a state of neglect and the picture is still in plain view hung on a wall of Rory’s house.

Elle. xx

Rock ‘n Roll to the bone!

Music! I’m pretty sure I’ve never spent a single day of my life without listening to it. In fact, even now that I’m writing I’m listening to some good tunes. Music is always there, ready to cheer you up. Afterall it has always been said that music is the language of feeling and of passion, as words are the language of reason.

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However, there was a time in Russia where music was banned, of course not all genres, just the most “wild” ones: Rock and Roll and Jazz.

During the 50s some ingenious Russians began recording banned bootlegged jazz, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll on exposed X-ray film. The thick radiographs would be cut into discs of 23 to 25 centimeters in diameter; sometimes the records weren’t circular. But the exact shape didn’t matter so much, as long as the thing played.

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Elle. x

Time.

Hello guys! How are you all? I’m always very “nervous” when I have to write a personal post and never know how to start.
I have a couple of posts planned but I’ll be off for a few days. If you follow this blog you know that most of the posts are about not-very-happy topics, and though I really love each thing that I wrote here, right now I’m not feeling comfortable to post/write the usual stuff. I’m pretty sure you all know what happened in Paris, and even if I’m not from there I’m very shocked by this dreadful situation. A couple of friends of mine were very close to the area where everything took place, thankfully they’re fine.
This blog receives visits from all over the world so I’m sure you can understand this decision.
Horrible things happen everyday and we must carry on with our lives…though sometimes it can be quite difficult.

I’ll be back soon. Lots of love!
Elle. xx