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The Curious Case of Maria Talarico

The Curious Case of Maria Talarico 86

by Dr. L. Rumble, M.S.C.

One of the most remarkable cases in the history of psychical experiences, one which has never been solved and which never will be solved – I do not hesitate to make that seemingly extravagant statement – occurred in January, 1939.

The European press rang with it at the time, and the details concerning it have been enshrined in text-books on psychical phenomena by the leading Continental experts in that elusive field of modern research.

Catanzaro, capital of the Province of Calabria, is built on the slopes of a rocky hill, some six miles inland from the shores of the Gulf of Squillace, at the southern extremity of Italy. It has a population of about 50,000 inhabitants, and is a centre on which roads converge from the many farming districts reaching far inland from the coast.

One of these roads crosses a bridge over a shallow stream before entering the town; and under that bridge, on the morning of 13th February, 1936, was found the dead body of a young man of about twenty, named Giuseppe Veraldi. He was lying in the bed of the river, his head badly gashed where it had hit the rocks after he had thrown himself from the bridge on the preceding night.

The police entered full details of the case in their records; the time he was found, the clothing he wore, the wounds in his head, and all they could gather concerning himself and his affairs. An inquest was held. The verdict was suicide. But no one had the slightest idea why Giuseppe Veraldi should have taken his own life.

Such tragedies, of course, occur in all parts of the world. There is nothing astonishing in the fact that this particular suicide should have happened in Catanzaro; nor is it unusually mysterious that no sufficient motive for it could be found. But wait…

Three years had passed by. The Giuseppe Veraldi case had long ceased to be a topic of general conversation in Catanzaro. Only his widowed mother and a few close relatives nursed their sad memories of his tragic death, which they were still at a loss to explain.

One morning in January, 1939, however, a young girl named Maria Talarico, then seventeen years of age, was walking across the bridge over the stream with her grandmother. They had come from a nearby farm, the grandmother to do some shopping in the town; Maria, a sturdy common-sensed peasant girl, to attend a class in a course of agricultural instruction for which she had enrolled.

When half-way across the bridge Maria suddenly stopped, gazed over the parapet, stared at the river-bed for a few tense moments, and then fell unconscious on the roadway.

Taken home by a farmer who had happened to be passing in his cart, she recovered consciousness on the way; but, as soon as she entered the door of the house, she said to her mother in the deep, resonant voice of a full-grown man: “You are not my mother. My mother lives in the wooden cottage, and her name is Catarina Veraldi. I am Pepe.” Pepe was a familiar contraction of Giuseppe’s name; and Maria’s voice was that of Giuseppe Veraldi!

Neighbours quickly gathered.

All thought Maria possessed by the devil; and her conduct certainly seemed to confirm that opinion. Still speaking in Giuseppe’s somewhat harsh voice, she demanded that her “mother” be sent for, although her real mother sat looking at her through streaming tears. Maria, however, ignored her; and whilst waiting for Mrs Veraldi to come insisted that a bottle of wine be brought, some cigarettes, and a pack of cards, inviting those around her to join in a game to fill in the time.

Given a pencil and paper, and asked to write her name, she wrote: “I am Giuseppe Veraldi.” It was in Giuseppe’s own handwriting!

Drinking and smoking, she addressed the men there as Toto, Elio, Rosario and Damiano, although such names belonged to none who were present. All recognised them, however, as the names of the dead man’s one-time boon companions. Of the four of them, Toto had emigrated to Argentina, in South America, soon after Giuseppe’s death.

At last Mrs Veraldi arrived. Maria, stopping the card-playing, said to her in what the astounded woman recognised as her son’s voice: “My friends murdered me. They threw me into the river-bed; and then, as I lay there, they battered my head with an iron bar and tried to make the whole thing look like suicide.”

Having made her statement, she got up, and before anyone could make a move she almost threw herself out the door, ran to the bridge, climbed the parapet, and fell into the river-bed. When the others, who had quickly followed her, arrived, she was lying in the exact position in which Giuseppe had been found, and was crying out in his voice: “Leave me alone. Why are you hitting me?”

The dead man’s mother cried out: “Pepe, cease tormenting that poor girl. Go away from her.” At once Maria returned to her normal state. Shakily, she stood up. When she spoke, it was in her own voice. They led her home. She had no recollection of anything that had happened from the moment she had first fallen unconscious on the bridge when crossing it with her grandmother.

Nine years later, in 1948, a letter arrived in Catanzaro, addressed to Mrs Catarina Veraldi. It was from Tucuman, in the far north-west of Argentina, near the foothills of the Andes; and it was signed by Luigi Marchete, who had been known as “Toto” among his intimate friends in Catanzaro. The letter had been left among his papers, to be posted in the event of his death.

Luigi had done well in Argentina, acquiring a great deal of property. He died, however, in 1948, and in his posthumous letter confessed to Catarina Veraldi that he had murdered her son in 1936. Elio, Rosario and Damiano had helped him; but it was he himself who had battered in Pepe’s head with an iron bar through jealousy over attentions Pepe had been paying to a woman named Lillina.

After the murder Toto had fled to Argentina under a false name, with forged papers. But his conscience had always tortured him, and he begged Catarina’s forgiveness. To make some kind of reparation he had made her sole heir to all his properties.

The police could act on this confession; but since Elio also had died, only Rosario and Damiano could be apprehended. Both received gaol sentences for their participation with Toto in the crime.

When the news of these extraordinary developments was published, not only Catanzaro, but every town in Europe whose papers gave headlines to the incredible story was set talking again.

Every detail described by Maria Talarico in her abnormal trance-like state had been confirmed.

It could not have been a case of merely natural clairvoyance. Maria was a normal, healthy, matter-of-fact peasant girl, who had never shown any signs of psychic tendencies or powers.

Nor could any merely natural clairvoyance be reconciled with her being suddenly thrown into a trance and afflicted with a complete change of personality, which suddenly ceased at a word of command from the dead man’s mother. Maria was certainly subject to some outside influence.

Was it, then, a case of devil-possession? But the serious purpose behind it all, the vindication of justice and the pinning of responsibility on the murderers, could scarcely have been of much appeal to the devil, the “father of lies and a murderer from the beginning.”

All seems to point in one direction – namely, that the discarnate soul of the murdered Giuseppe had taken possession of Maria. If a hypnotist can make a subject speak and behave in unnatural ways, there is no reason why the disembodied spirit of Giuseppe – granted God’s permission for a return to this world at all – could not have exercised some such influence over Maria.

But why pick on Maria Talarico, who had not had the slightest connection with the affair? Also, whilst many instances of diabolical possession have been recorded, where is there any other case in history in which the body of a person still living in this world has been possessed by the soul of a deceased human being?

It is all very bewildering; and one can only leave it at that.*



Spirited Away Nation: Magic in Indonesia is everywhere

Spirited Away Nation: Magic in Indonesia is everywhere 99

Indonesia is not one of those countries that fascinates at first sight. Too much poverty and disorder. One Indonesian pantun, an edifying quatrain, says: just as a worm from a stream falls into a river, so love sinks into the heart from the eyes, that is, it depends on external attractiveness. However, appearance, surface, visibility are not a priority for the Indonesians. You need to feel this country with your heart.

Perhaps this is the influence of difficult climatic conditions: it is rather difficult to think in a permanent sauna. American government structures even impose restrictions on access to posts of a certain level for persons who have spent more than three years in tropical Asia. It is believed that cognitive abilities undergo irreversible changes in such conditions.

The principles of formal logic cease to operate in this corner of the planet, which is literally between the worlds: underwater – a constantly approaching ocean, air – in the form of hurricanes, and fiery – a chain of active volcanoes encircles the country in a ring.

During the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali in 2017, Indonesians were looking for an explanation for what happened not in the information of geological exploration and the history of climate observations. They thought the eruption was caused by the spiritual fall of the Balinese. 

“Why is this happening now? It depends on the sincerity of the Indonesian people. Balinese people need to reconsider their spiritual aspirations and mentality, “- quoted the local socio-political publication of the Governor of Bali, Mangku Pastika.

Yet the atmosphere in Indonesia is so dense that it seems more real than real objects. Noises, sounds, colors – everything is refracted in this thickened air. Without exception, all Indonesians with whom I am familiar have personal experience of meeting, communicating and other contacts with various spirits and ghosts, according to beliefs, inhabiting these islands. 

Talking about ghosts is not shameful; this is a completely understandable and socially accepted explanation of events. The concentration of events, which is not easy to explain by the laws of physics, is for some reason really increased here.

There is a big list of spirits inhabiting Indonesia. The most famous of these is, of course, Kuntilanak, the ghost of a pregnant woman. It can be detected by the smell of plumeria – flowers common in Indonesia that resemble jasmine, but with denser petals of a noble white and delicate yellow. 

These flowers grow there like weeds everywhere. They line the roads, bloom on the trees planted around the beaches, garlands of these flowers are worn around the necks of the newlyweds. In general, almost everything and always smells there with plumeria, which means that the demon is always nearby.

Kuntilanak appears as a beautiful dark-haired woman with red eyes. In addition, a spirit can be identified by a hole in the neck, a hole in the back, and bleeding. She marks her presence with a high-pitched female laugh. It is believed that she is attracted by the smell of drying clothes, which is why many Indonesians and Malaysians are afraid to leave their clothes outside. 

The spirit is especially cruel to men, one of whom, apparently, became the cause of the posthumous wanderings of a ghostly woman. The ghost kills the victim with nails, eats the intestines, and sucks the eyes directly from the sockets.

Sometimes Kuntilanak is identified with another spirit – Sundel Bolong, personifying a woman of easy virtue. Like Kuntilanak, Sundel Bolong died carrying a child conceived out of wedlock. For this reason, the spirit takes revenge on men and steals babies to replace their unborn baby. However, sometimes both infernal entities can harm young women out of envy. In this case, they turn into a bird, cause the woman to bleed and drink her blood.

Besides Kuntilanak, Indonesia is believed to be inhabited by countless other demons. One of the first texts in my Indonesian textbook was a clipping from the local press in the 1960s, which reported how an entire class in a small rural school turned into a “kerasukan”, that is, the children were possessed by spirits and robbed of their will. In addition to Kuntilanak, who deprives people of their will, does all sorts of horrors with them and is loved for this by the authors of numerous Indonesian horror films, many local ghosts do not harm a person.

A nation that massively believes in ghosts lives in a special atmosphere on the verge of dream and reality. In addition, sometimes it is not so important what really exists, how important is what your interlocutors and partners believe in, especially if there are many of them: collective beliefs and the irrational behavior dictated by them is the social reality in which you have to live.

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People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us 100

Shadow creatures are neither ghosts nor people, and we know these creatures as shadow people. It seems that the “shadow” know about our location and want us to feel fear or even panic in their presence.

People-shadows or shadow people are paranormal dark barely visible silhouettes known to mystics for a long time. They look like dark humanoid creatures or barely noticeable ghosts, often seen only with peripheral vision. Witnesses claim that shadow people only catch a few seconds, eyewitnesses also say that they looked into the eyes of shadow people and their eyes shone with a red light, like demons.

Shadow people can take different shapes and sizes: look like full-fledged people or even like animals. But most often these are thin tall strange figures. Be that as it may, they appear only for a moment, quickly evaporating into the air. Unfortunately, they can harm humans, which was proven in 2013.

The video posted on the web had confirmation of the existence of a shadow man who was visible for over a minute! An unknown silhouette knocks down a man walking down the corridor and drags him across the floor for several seconds. After some time, it also suddenly disappears, releasing the person. As it became known, the building where the striking phenomenon was filmed has complaints from tenants who more than once meet paranormal events in their home.

There are very few known cases though of adverse events caused by shadow people. In most cases, they appear or disappear as soon as they are found.

Shadow creatures can be spotted out of the corner of your eye. Some people who saw them or knew about their presence say that they are alien creatures, slipping in and out of our field of vision. In the eyewitness accounts, the observation of the recurrence of shadow manifestations is especially often mentioned.

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

Whether they are an elusive race that has always coexisted with us is an interesting theory suggesting that these creatures are frequent guests in our lives.

Paranormal researchers consider shadow people to be malevolent supernatural entities. Perhaps shadow people will not cause physical pain, but they can affect you emotionally, for example, cause fear – this gives them energy.

Skeptics and scientists believe that shadow people are optical illusions or hallucinations that appear under the influence of drugs or physiological changes in the body. When the left temporo-parietal brain is stimulated, these strange images are created.

Often the appearance of these shadows is inextricably linked with sleep paralysis, when a person is, as it were, between sleep and reality. Scientifically, this is called hypnogogy. Hypnogogia is called “the phenomenon of the face in the dark” for such hallucinations.

All eyewitnesses, regardless of where they live, talk about the same sensations in the presence of shadow creatures. Fear is a cold feeling that overcomes a person at this moment.

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

Some people say they even saw the eerie red eyes of these dark personalities that momentarily appear anywhere and demonstrate the ability to walk on the walls of enclosed spaces, which defies the general laws of physics.

Whoever they are, they feed on human energy, emit bad vibrations and give negative emotions. We do not know how they got into our dimension, about the purpose of their mission and how they affect the human essence. The main thing is to stop feeling fear in their presence and not to “feed” anyone with your precious energy.

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Ghost hunter told how to summon spirits

Ghost hunter told how to summon spirits 101

A ghost hunter explained how to summon ghosts and when is the best time to do it according to The Daily Star.

Jade Capasso explores hotels, inns, historical places to allegedly reveal the spirits and ghosts that are present in them. She shares her discoveries on the YouTube channel Ghost Club Paranormal. The girl is sure that you can also talk with spirits.

The 28-year-old ghost hunter is confident that you can talk to ghosts and spirits using a voice recorder. A particularly good time for this, according to her, is the eve of All Saints’ Day – Halloween.

 “I think there is more activity during Halloween. More people believe in the other world, ”she said.

She recalled that Halloween pumpkin is an invariable attribute and symbol of the holiday. People decorate their home with funny, scary, and sometimes even terrifying faces.

 “I’m sure there will be more sessions and many will use Ouija boards,” she says.

To connect with the “other world”, you can go to a famous haunted place, says Kapassa. She also recommends checking your home for ghosts.

To hear a ghost, the girl recommends using special equipment. 

After all, ghosts, she said, emit sounds at ultra-low frequencies that are not perceived by the human ear. You can hear them, as she notes, only on audio recordings.

The girl says that you need to leave the digital voice recorder in a room where paranormal activity is observed all night, or ask questions and wait for an answer.

“Ask questions, and who knows, you might hear a disembodied voice answering you,” says Jade.

According to her, there is no need to rush, because the spirits must be given enough time to respond.

“You probably won’t hear them in real time. But if you listen to the recording, you might hear someone from the underworld, ”she said.

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