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Eccentricities, true crime, macabre, lore

Category: Extraordinary Historical Facts

The curse of “The Omen”

There was a time, back in the late 60’s- early 70’s when, after the tremendous success of “Rosemary’s Baby”, the horror genre would flourish. While independent filmmakers were creating low-budget, gore, cult masterpieces, Hollywood preferred to deal with more “serious” religious themes. “Rosemary’s Baby” was followed by “The Exorcist”, and “The Omen” came shortly after. What do all those three films have in common? Huge success, screaming and fainting audiences, Satan, and fatal curses attached to them.

The main idea in the minds of the people of the time, was that Satan was displeased with Hollywood revealing his tactics to the public, and he was actively trying to stop, or punish all involved. I, on the other hand, don’t see why he wouldn’t want that, but it’s hard to get into the mind of someone you don’t believe exists in the first place. Anyway, that’s a different topic; moving on.

So, all of these films have weird deaths, happenings, and creepy coincidences connected to them, and although “Rosemary’s Baby” is worth an article of its own (for entirely different reasons), the series of eerie events connected to “The Omen” stands out. I will go through them, one by one, as they unfolded. Needless to say there will be spoilers, but on the other hand, have you seriously not seen “The Omen”?

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The Great Moon Hoax

Since this is Facebook, I’m sure you’ve all seen all these hoaxes that are posted from time to time, which usually spread like wild fire. Hell, you might have even fallen for a couple of them. Miraculous cures for cancer, various fake news reports, conspiracy theories, fake contests, and so on. Some are harmless, some are extremely dangerous, and although there are people and sites who dedicate their time debunking them, there are always people who will believe everything that’s being served to them, as long as it is done in a seemingly professional manner. The intent of those spreading these hoaxes can vary, from clickbaits for financial gain, to outright spreading chaos and pushing agendas. Is this phenomenon new though? Nope!

The year is 1835, and the place is New York city. In the headquarters of the newspaper “New York Sun”, someone came up with an ingenious idea.. an idea that would not only increase the paper’s circulation, but an idea that could potentially cause a world wide sensation.

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Princess Olga of Kiev

Shhhh….shhhh….I know I’m late.
In order to make it up to you, I have prepared one of my favorite stories, one I’ve always wanted to do. So, with no further delay, here’s what happens to you if you mess with the wrong woman…

We don’t really know when Princess Olga of Kiev was born, and it’s not really important, although astrologers will insist she must have been a Scorpio. What we do know, is that roughly around 910 she married Prince Igor, the ruler of Kiev. Now, those were weird, violent times, and three years after the birth of their only son, Igor was betrayed and killed by an opponent tribe, the Drevlians. Since her son was not of age, Olga became the regent ruler. This wasn’t an easy task back there and then, but Olga had somehow gained the support of her people.

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King James IV of Scotland

Throughout history, there have always been educated leaders who tried to push the limits of knowledge a bit further, mostly by experimenting. Their ways have sometimes been questionable though, and so have the results, and don’t get me started on some of their intentions.

The question here is, what could be the first, original language of mankind? For those who believe in the Bible, which language was spoken before Babel? If you deprive a baby of all sounds, which language will it speak?

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Mary Toft

I’m sure you have all noticed the increasing pace with which fake news and hoaxes are spreading. There were always hoaxes, but back in the days, it took more to make a bang than just a click-bait. Let me introduce you to a woman who almost got away with it, ruining some careers along her way, Mrs. Mary Toft.

Mary was born in 1701, in Godalming, Surrey. She was married, had three children and was working as a servant. In 1726, and after a miscarriage, while she was working in the fields, she chased after two rabbits but failed to catch them. She said that after that, she had a craving for rabbits, but since they were poor, she couldn’t afford their meat. One month later, she started giving birth to rabbits…

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Ergotism

You know how sometimes the answers to some of the biggest mysteries, is something very mundane and simple? I present to you Ergotism! I know how it sounds, but it’s not a boring philosophical theory, you can keep on reading this.

Ergot is some kind of fungus that infects rye and some cereals. It’s extremely toxic and can cause a severe poisoning, called ergotism. I won’t get into chemical details over the toxicity of this fungus, I will just say that one of its main derivatives (Ergoline) is the famous drug LSD. “Hallucinations” was the first thing that came into your mind, right? And that’s not all. The symptoms of ergotism are really severe and sometimes gangrenous. Apart from what I’ve already mentioned, it can cause psychosis, spasms, seizures, vomiting, delirium and so on. Fun fact: the kind of ergotism and its symptoms are affected by the soil, meaning that two affected regions can have different symptoms.

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Pope Gregory IX

Pope Gregory IX will go down in history for his severity, the instituting of the Papal Inquisition (not the Spanish one, no one expected it anyway), and for a series of Papal Bulls.

All Bull jokes aside, “Vox in Rama” was issued sometime around 1233 condemning Satanic worship. Nothing weird here, considering the times it was issued, right? Well, according to this text, cats, especially the black ones, were incarnations of Satan and as such should be destroyed.

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The Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

(Alice checks his temperature)

Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

Today is the Mad-Hatter Day, and it’s the perfect day to be silly, or have an unbirthday tea party with your rats and hares!

Although most people think that Lewis Carol is responsible for this character, things are slightly different.

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The Cadaver Synod (no, it’s not a Harry Potter spell)

This Synod took place in Rome, in 897.

You will need the backstory, which is more complicated than your average soap-opera, but I’ll try to skip the boring details.

It’s 864 and Formosus becomes the bishop of Porto (not to be confused with Porto in Portugal). Apparently he did such a good missionary job in Bulgaria, that Bulgarians asked him to be their bishop, which wasn’t allowed, since he was already appointed elsewhere.

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