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Paranormal

Wizards: Did They Exist?

By Dr. Paul

Myths and folklore from all over the world inform us of people with supernatural abilities who walked among us. Whether their abilities are attributed to God, the Devil, nature, or some other source, the ancient world is full of records of people who could reportedly perform magic at will. History has not been kind to the word “wizard”; when we hear it, we are inclined to think of fairy tales and fiction–and yet, when a religion recognizes people with the same powers, many of us are willing to call them saints and prophets of God. We are willing to believe in saints but dismiss wizards out of hand. Why should this be so?

We will explore several historical cases of people who seemed to have had magical powers and are listed in the “wizard” category. This is a brief history as all the facts on any of them could constitute many books. There are many more in history that have also risen to the rank of wizard (or a similar designation), but we have picked out a few examples to raise the question of whether these figures truly existed and if they truly had powers.

Cassandra (Greek Mythology)


A depiction of Cassandra, mythological prophetess from Troy, daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, painted by Evelyn De Morgan, ca. 1898. (Wikimedia Commons)

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a princess of Troy with the ability to foretell the future. When she refused the advances of Apollo, he cursed her so that no one would ever believe her warnings. When she foretold of the army hidden in the Trojan Horse, no one believed her, and Troy fell. Her life continued tragically, for she was sexually assaulted, forced to be the unwilling mistress of King Agamemnon, and finally assassinated by Agamemnon’s evil wife Clytemnestra. Cassandra spent her life trying to avert the catastrophes she foresaw, but no one ever believed her prophesies.

The Witch of Endor (1079 BC–1007 BC)


A depiction of the story of Saul and the Witch of Endor, painted by Benjamin West, 1777. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the Old Testament, King Saul had a reputation for banishing witches from his kingdom, but he was not above using their powers for his own purposes. When he wished to obtain the guidance of his deceased mentor, the prophet Samuel, Saul tricked the Witch of Endor into performing a séance. The Witch of Endor was a medium, meaning that she could communicate with the dead, and she raised Samuel’s ghost, which predicted many unpleasant events in Saul’s future. Though the Witch of Endor was deceived into using her powers, could raise a prophet from the dead, and helped King Saul, there is no evidence she ever used her abilities for evil.

Simon Magus the Sorcerer (Contemporary of Christ)

Relief on the Miègeville’s gate of the basilica Saint-Sernin in Toulouse, France, as seen on Dec. 15, 2012. The relief shows Simon Magus surrounded by demons. (Pierre Selim/Wikimedia Commons)

According to the New Testament, during the time of Jesus, Simon was demonstrating great feats of magic and acquiring a large following: “To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the great power of God’” (Acts 8:10, King James). Simon was impressed by the act of baptism as a way to bring more people to the Holy Ghost, and he offered to pay the disciple Peter for the knowledge and power to perform it. Peter refused, saying that the gift of God could not be purchased with money. Two testimonies not included in the Bible state that Simon’s death occurred when he was levitating and Peter and Paul prayed to break the spell, causing Simon to fall and sustain fatal injuries. None of the other negative stories or myths about Simon date back with any authenticity to his own time period. Although he seems to have had disagreements with the disciples of Christ, there is no evidence that he used his powers for evil. Nevertheless, he is called a “sorcerer.”

Merlin (6th Century)

Left: An illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. (Michel Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff/Wikimedia Commons) Right: Merlin, depicted in the Suite Vulgate manuscript, 1286. (Wikimedia Commons)

Merlin was perhaps the most famous of all wizards, but he is also the one whose existence is under the most debate–along with that of King Arthur of Camelot, whom he served. There is, however, compelling evidence in favor of Merlin’s historical reality. There was a poem written on parchment around the time he allegedly lived about a wizard named Ambrosius who went by the name “The Eagle,” which translates to “Merlin.” We know Ambrosius existed because the location of his former home is still known, near Llangollen in North Wales. A corroborating Welsh document from 600 A.D. describes a clairvoyant named Myrddin, which is the Welsh form of Merlin. There is as much evidence for Merlin’s existence as there is for some people in “factual” history books, but because he was a wizard, he is considered a legend.

Väinämöinen (9th century)

Robert Wilhelm Ekman’s depiction of Väinämöisen, 1866. (Wikimedia Commons)

In modern times, this Finnish hero has been credited with many adventures under different names. However, the first verifiable written stories of him were recorded in the 16th century, and it is widely believed that he actually lived in the 9th century. The Finnish oral accounts say that he traveled the country on noble adventures, using his power of song to perform almost limitless magic. Väinämöinen has inspired the wizard archetype of modern fantasy fiction, and whenever a writer needs an old wizard to add magic and help to a story line, that character is often based on Väinämöinen. Even J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous wizard Gandalf was directly derived from Väinämöinen. The stories of Väinämöinen portray him as the hero of his stories, but nowadays the wizards he inspires are depicted in minor roles assisting other heroes.

Johann Reuchlin (1455 –1522)

Possibly the only authentic portrait of Johannes Reuchlin, a detail from the title engraving of Thomas Murner’s “History von den Fier Ketzren Prediger Ordens,” printed in Strassburg, Germany, 1521. Left: Johannes Reuchlin, middle: Ulrich von Hutten, right: Martin Luther. (Wikimedia Commons)

Johann was a well-known German scholar, linguist, historian, lecturer, and author. During his study of the Hebrew language, he used the spelling of names and other clues to decode what he believed were ways to communicate with angels, to give the word of God to man. He later wrote two books on the subject. He has been credited with having the ability to summon angels, but there is no evidence he ever claimed to have that power. His intent was to help man better understand the will of God, but he is often dismissed an occultist.

Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus) (1503 –1566)

A portrait of Nostradamus, ca. 1690. (Wikimedia Commons)

Nostradamus was the famous French seer whose quatrains are still popularly used to tell the future. Some argue that his 950 predictions are vague enough that, with the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to interpret them to describe almost any event, but some interesting feats of prophesy he performed during his life were well-documented. Nostradamus once kneeled before a humble monk named Peretti, saying that monk would be pope, and 32 years later, the monk became Pope Sixtus V. Nostradamus not only wrote a cryptic prophesy about King Henry II of France dying from a splinter in his eye, but also explained to the king that the prophesy referred to a peculiar jousting accident that later occurred exactly as he predicted. Because of the graphic nature of many of Nostradamus’s predictions, he is often depicted in images and movies as a dark and evil person, but he only saw the future, warned of it, and never caused any harm.

Republished with permission from the Paranormal Association. Read the original. Dr. Paul is a staff writer for the Para normal Association. He is the author of five books on the paranormal. You can read more at Dr. Paul’s Website.

Paranormal

Enfield poltergeist: one of the most famous and mysterious paranormal phenomena, is still considered a mystery

The Enfield Poltergeist is still considered a mystery, but experts on the unknown do not get tired of trying to solve it.

Fans of horror probably watched the movie “The Conjuring 2”, as well as the series “The Enfield Haunting,” but they hardly know that these on-screen horrors are based on an absolutely real story. A series of paranormal events took place in the city of Anfield in 1977. The poltergeist, who terrorized a single mother and her children, was shot on photo and video equipment, but this did not help to get closer to his solution.

It all started when the children of Peggy Hodgson – 13-year-old Margaret, 11-year-old Janet, 10-year-old Johnny and 7-year-old Billy – began to complain to their mother that the furniture in their rooms moves at night. At first, the mother considered this a childhood fantasy, but when she saw how the heavy chest of drawers moved away from the wall by itself, and then fell into place, she had to believe in the incredible. Neighbors came to them – the first witnesses of inexplicable phenomena.

Experts came to understand the strange events and captured the frightening tricks of the poltergeist.

The mysterious something that lived in the house was rampant more and more – things flew around the rooms, dishes hit the walls, little Janet was thrown into the air.

The cries of children and the fright of those present seemed to amuse the invisible joker. And his tricks became more and more meaner and meaner.

Janet was especially hit. She now and then fell into a trance and spoke in other people’s voices. All this was recorded in the most conscientious manner in the photo and video.

Researchers who first encountered such a clear and aggressive spirit did not know how to help the Hodgson family.

After a year and a half, the poltergeist calmed down, and since then has reminded only in the nightmares of the younger members of the family. But things no longer flew, and the furniture did not move. 

The “favorite” of Poltergeist Janet, even having matured, recalled with trembling that period of her life.

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Paranormal

Vatican chief exorcist describes signs of devil obsession

Image: © Hernán Piñera

The main Catholic exorcist, father Gabriel Amort, who died in 2016, said that he had met the devil 60 thousand times in 30 years. The book of his colleague Marcello Stantsione, “The Devil is Afraid of Me,” describes priestly exorcism sessions and signs of obsession, reports the Daily Mail.

The exorcist claimed that he once encountered Satan in the morning of 1997 – then a young Italian was brought to his office in Rome. Amort noted that the possessed knew only his native language, but the spirit inside him spoke excellent English. The priest began a session of exile and demanded that the devil give his name. “He was shocked when he was told that the spirit is Lucifer himself,” the newspaper writes. When the exorcist ordered Lucifer to leave the Italian, the body of the young man tensed, ascended over the floor for several minutes, and then collapsed into a chair. After this, Satan admitted defeat and named the exact day and time when he left, Amorth said.

Father Amort became a student of the exorcist in 1986, and already in 1990 founded the International Association of Exorcists. First, he conducted sessions in the temple of the Holy Stairs, then moved to the headquarters of his order. According to Stationion, Amorth was famous for his sense of humor. “Amorth’s favorite joke was this:

“ Do you know why the devil runs away when he sees me? Because I’m uglier than him, ”” the memoir says.

The exorcist admitted that many of the people who came to him for sessions had mental problems that the psychologist best coped with. At the same time, he called several “symptoms” of obsession – headaches, stomach cramps, which can easily be confused with a common disease. The priest said that the devil hates Latin and prefers to speak English, even if the obsessed person does not know the language.

According to Amorth, 90 percent of the obsessed are Satanists, or people addicted to witchcraft sessions. In addition, he noted that the devil is often infused in middle-aged women who have a weakness for fortune telling.

Sessions of the expulsion of the devil are in great demand in the Vatican. In February 2018, it was reported that because of this, a special course in exorcism was taught at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

The Vatican approved exorcism in 2014. Then the Catholic Church officially recognized the existence of the International Association of Exorcists. The organization, led by Amort, who died in 2016, now has about 400 members, 240 of them from Italy.

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Paranormal

The “cursed” doll was found abandoned in Mexican river after being burned by frightened neighbors 

This sinister human-sized ventriloquist doll was mistaken for a dead body when it was pulled out of a river by villagers in Mexico. They were so scared that they decided to burn her. Unfortunately, the doll, found wrapped in a blanket in the small town of San Antonio La Esperanza, did not burn, and therefore the community decided that it was “cursed”.

In the photo of the doll, one eye is blackened and burned, and the other is bright blue and covered.

It’s reclining jaw gives the doll an eerie look. The human mannequin was initially mistaken for a dead body, but, fortunately, it soon became clear that it was not real when it was deployed from a shawl.

However, it remains a mystery who was the previous owner of the creepy mannequin and why this man tried so hard to get rid of it in such a strange way. According to local media reports, after several attempts, the villagers finally managed to burn it.

Since then, the story has reached the filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro , known for filming such dark science fiction films as “The Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which tweeted some photos of this scary doll.
Local journalist Cesar Buenrostro challenged the idea of ​​a supernatural presence and stated that the locals could not burn the doll on the first try, because it was crude. Once the doll was dry, it became easier for them to set fire to it, he said.

Buenrostro and a YouTube journalist known as the “Oxlack Investigador” visited Julio, the man who made the doll. He said that he sold it many years ago, but could not remember who bought it.

According to Julio, the doll was made of epoxy, which is difficult to burn.

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