"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Sometimes Bad Luck is Better than no Luck

Lima, Peru - A man discovered first hand that having bad luck may not be as bad as it seems. He drank a potion provided by a so-called "Shaman" to get rid of his family's bad luck for good. Unfortunately, he got more than what he had hoped. The man died from the bogus brew.

Alternative medicine is popular in the Andean nation with newspapers full of colorful ads from self-proclaimed "Shamans". Since the incident, the government warned the people to stay away from clandestine or street-corner practices saying the potions used could kill or cause long-term illness.

"Avoid consuming brews made with herbs of questionable origin or hallucinogenic plants prepared by so-called Shamans," the country's Health Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that genuine Shamans from the country's north sometimes consumed natural hallucinogens such as the San Pedro cactus in their rituals, but did not administer them to patients.

I think seeking alternative medicine may be ok, but at least do your homework first. Don't just trust anyone especially to cure such a mundane problem.

GS Question of the Week

Do you think orbs are a legitimate piece of ghost evidence? Why or why not?

My Answer: I don't exactly dismiss orbs as not being legitimate evidence. I just think that it's so easy for some to be explained as nothing but dust. I think that you shouldn't just assume that every ball-like object on a photograph is an orb. I look at orbs as being circumstantial evidence. It may be considered evidence but you need more to really lock down a conviction.

My Obituary

'What will your obituary say?' at

Well at least I'll be missed by someone.

Jane Addams' Hull House

In 1856, Hull House was constructed by Charles J. Hull in one of the most fashionable sections of Chicago. However, after the Chicago Fire of 1871, most of the upper class moved to other parts of the city and Italian, Greek and Jewish settlers began taking their place. By the 1880s, Hull House was surrounded by factories and tenement houses. It later became one of the most famous locations in Chicago.

Jane Addams and college friend Ellen Starr Gates opened the house in 1889 to provide education to the newly arrived European immigrants. West of what was once known as the wealthy section of Chicago was plagued by crime, vice, prostitution and drug addiction. Jane Addams became the "voice of humanity" for the less fortunate. Addams and Gates turned the house into a shelter mainly for women but also provided for the homeless. Over time, Hull House expanded as more space was needed. Twelve buildings were added but removed later on when the house was renovated.

In 1935, Jane Addams died but the Hull House Association continued her work at the settlement house until the 1960's. At that time, the property was purchased by the University of Illinois, bringing an end to one of Chicago's greatest achievements in social reform.

By now, I'm sure you are wondering what spirits could be roaming such a monumental home as this. A story of one ghost is that of the wife of Charles Hull who died of natural causes. Within a few months of death, her spirit was seen in the very room of which she died in. However, this would not be the only "supernatural" thing Hull House was known for.

Another story told about Hull House would be of the "Devil Baby". A child supposedly born to a devout Catholic woman and her atheist husband was said to have taken refuge there. He was described as having pointed ears, horns, scale-covered skin and a tail. According to the story, the young woman had attempted to display a picture of the Virgin Mary in the house but her husband had torn it down. He stated that he would rather have the Devil himself in the house that the picture. When the woman had become pregnant, the Devil Baby had been their curse. After enduring numerous indignities because of the child, the father allegedly took it to Hull House. It is said that after taking them in, staff members in the house took the baby to be baptized but it got away from the priest and began dancing and laughing. Not knowing what to do, Jane locked it in the attic where it later died.

No one knows how this story began, who started it or if it's even true. However, some believe that it holds some elements of the truth. There were speculations that the child was a badly deformed infant who was brought to Hull House by an immigrant woman. Another theory was that the deformed child lived within the neighborhood and the rumors led to Hull House. Jane Addams devoted forty pages of her autobiography dismissing the rumors.

However, some people have claimed to see on certain nights the face of a disfigured person. Some say they still see the ghostly image til this day.

Clearwater Monster

The Clearwater Monster has remained a mystery for sixty years. It's a fine example of things aren't always what they seem. In 1946 or '47 a monster emerged from the Gulf of Mexico and wandered around in the dark leaving tracks. Tracks that looked like anything anyone had ever seen before. They were about fourteen inches long and eleven inches wide. They featured a narrow heel and three long toes. The tracks were more birdlike than reptilian, though not entirely birdlike.

The news of the discovery made the papers and radio. It was the talk of Clearwater, Florida. Citizens even stepped forward claiming to have seen the mysterious visitors with their own theories of what it was.

Clearwater was a sleepy place, something right off a postcard - the perfect stomping ground for the monster. The Clearwater Monster was clever. The fiend left tracks, inflamed imaginations, then vanished. Just when people stopped thinking about him, he crept out of the surf again. This time he knocked over a lifeguard stand and left unidentified feathers on some wooden pilings. He went on a rampage. The Clearwater Monster walked the beach at Indian Rocks. He visited the waterfront of Sarasota. He rounded the Pinellas peninsula, headed north, bypassed the St. Petersburg waterfront and kept going until he found a place to leave tracks on the sand next to the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Then, he laid low for the next year.

Scientists were interrogated about the monster. One said it couldn't be real. Another thought it to be a giant salamander. It was left to Ivan Sanderson, a self-taught zoologist, author and WNBC radio commentator, to render an intelligent opinion. After investigating, his conclusion was that the monster was definitely not a hoax and theorized it to be a giant penguin.

It wasn't until recently that the mystery of the Clearwater Monster was finally solved. Tony Signorini worked for a man named Al Williams, a practical joker, at Auto Electric. The idea behind the monster began after Williams saw a picture of dinosaur tracks on the cover of National Geographic. Their next move was to Signorini's garage to put the plan into motion.

"They were plaster at first, but you couldn't make a good track with plaster. It just didn't sink in the sand deep enough to look authentic. We went to this blacksmith shop and poured lead in our molds. Each track weighed 30 pounds. We bolted black high-top gym shoes to each track," Signorini said. "Al and I rowed out to the beach. I put on the shoes. I jumped out of the boat in shallow water. I was young then, about 25 or so, and much stronger than I am now, an old man. I had to kind of swing my legs out to the side and then forward to get going. Somehow I didn't break my legs. I left deep tracks about 6 feet apart. I made this big loop from the surf, up the beach, and then back into the water to the boat."

So, what's the lesson here? Things aren't always what they seem.
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