Friday, June 11, 2010

Archive X Paranormal Stories

Archive X Paranormal Stories, which is a section of The Virtual Library, contains a collection of more than 3500 stories about paranormal phenomena. The categories listed in the main index are ghosts, angels, channeling, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, stigmata, and past-life experiences. But a perusal of the site reveals that other subjects are also covered, including shadow people, ouija boards, spirit guides, possession, and astral travel, to name just a few.

The introduction to the section on "True Angel Stories" says that angels are divine messingers sent by God to impart important information. But it also says that in many of the stories angels act to rescue people from dangerous situations such as auto accidents or possible drownings. In addition, it mentions that angels can disguise themselves as everyday people, so that someone could be helped by an angel without being aware of it.

I read a story about a woman who was walking down the street to visit a neighbor when she was suddenly warned by a mysterious voice in her head not to go any further, and so she returned to her own house. Later that day she found out that the neighbor was shot and killed by an intruder just a few minutes after she heard the mysterious voice.

To visit this site, go to Archive X Paranormal Stories.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stigmata Article

Stigmata are wounds or tattoo-like skin markings that have appeared on certain individuals in the same bodily locations as the wounds inflicted on Jesus at the time of his crucifixion. Some people think that the sudden appearance of these wounds or markings is a supernatural sign of piousness.

This article mentions that ancient people used the word "stigmata" for identification marks branded onto slaves, and also for tattooed images used to show a person's membership in a particular religious cult. The apostle Paul used the same word to refer to some marks on his body, but the exact nature of those marks is unknown.

The first reported case of a spontaneous appearance of stigmata is that of St. Francis. The spontaneity of the phenomenon was regarded as proof that it was a divine sign from God. According to the article, in some modern cases people have said that they entered a trance in which they thought they were nailed on a cross, and then discovered the stigmata on their bodies after they came out of the trance.

The article points out that many people doubt the claims about the supernatural nature of the phenomenon. It also describes various natural causes, including the possibility that the wounds or markings can be faked.

To read the complete article, go to Stigmata - Real or Fake?. It gives several examples of how the markings can be artificially created.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Encyclopedia Mythica

Encyclopedia Mythica (

This site is an extensive online encyclopedia of folklore, mythology, legend, and religion. The thousands of individual entries, covering everything from Agskw to Zveda Vechanyaya, are classified by geographic region (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Oceania), with further subdivisions within each region.

It is difficult to imagine the amount of time and effort that must have been required to create this valuable resource. A person could spend hours (or days) simply browsing through the countless entries. I noticed that some of the entries were about legendary people who may have actually existed, such as Robin Hood, King Authur, and Roland, so that the site covers more than just mythology. In fact there is special section about King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table. Other special sections cover King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Moses Maimonides, and Witchcraft.

One area that particularly caught my interest is the Bestiary. I was surprised to learn that many of these mythical beasts, such as the Behemoth, Basilisk, and Gargoyles, are associated with early Christian beliefs. For example, the Behemoth is mentioned in the Bible's Old Testament, and later apocalyptic literature identifies it with the Devil.

This award-winning site also includes an excellent image gallery and a section of genealogy tables for ancient gods and goddesses.

To visit this site, go to
Encyclopedia Mythica

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The GardenWeb site is a hub for gardeners and nature lovers of all types. Its resources include the huge Hortiplex database and a dictionary of more than 4400 botanical terms. There are also photo galleries, blogs, an "Ask the Experts" section, a climate zone finder, a directory of other informational sites, and a shopping section.

But the heart of GardenWeb may be its forums. There are several hundred different forums, ranging from general gardening topics such as landscaping, cultivation, lawn care, fruit growing, wildflowers, plant propagation, and creating wildlife habitats, to specialized subjects such as daylilies, violets, fuchsia, bananas, clematis, and beekeeping. In fact, almost every well-known type of plant appears to be covered by a special forum.

From my observations, one especially active area is the seed exchange forum. Here members can make posts about particular kinds of seeds they want, or seeds they have available to give away. They can then arrange to send the desired seeds to each other through the mail using padded envelopes. Free give-aways and exchanges are allowed, but selling is prohibited.

Each person who registers to participate in the forums is given a free members page, in which he or she may include personal information such as their location and their favorite plants and flowers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This wiki encyclopedia of skepticism covers a diverse array of subjects, including aliens, ufos, psychic phenomena, relics, alternative medicine, illusions, frauds, and pseudo-science. As with other wikis, all the articles are the work of volunteers, who may either create new articles or edit existing articles. However, unlike in some wikis, to help protect the site against spam and vandalism, a person must register before he or she can contribute.

I came across a good example of the skeptic point of view while perusing the Religion and Philosophy section. In an article about the historical Jesus, several theories about the "real" Jesus are discussed. These include the ideas that he was a sage, an advocate for social change, and an apocalyptic prophet. Inherent in all of these theories is a denial that he was divine. Another article in the same section even questions his historical existence.

Another interesting section is the Relics and Artifacts category. This includes articles about the Spear of Destiny, the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross of Jesus, the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and the Pillars of Enoch. The True Cross is the actual cross on which Jesus died. Some people believe that its wood has miraculous healing powers, and pieces of it were taken to many churches in Europe. The Spear of Destiny is a name for the lance that was thrust into the side of Jesus while he was on the cross. According to one story, Louis IX of France claimed to have the point of this lance at one time, but it has apparently disappeared. Several other stories about the fate of the original lance are also discussed.

To visit this website, go to