Thursday, February 18, 2010
Where do cryptids come from? Those strange creatures that pop up in the glare of headlights, or swim through our nightmares. What branch on Earth's evolutionary tree do they exist, or do they exist only in our subconscious mind?
Perhaps creatures such as the Lock Ness Monster, Champ, Raystown Ray, the Jersey Devil, Big Foot (just to name a few), really don't exist in our world, except when a portal opens from another dimension, allowing extra-dimensional creatures to roam our woods and fields, our lakes, our jungles.
Or what if these creatures all existed in Earth's past, then some aliens from another distant solar system came, snatched up a few samples of earthly species, much like researchers and scientists do on earth today? And just what if those alien scientists have finally decided to bring those ancient earth creatures back? T-Rex in your back yard, so to speak. Now there is a chilling thought.
Quite a number of people have claimed to see dragons and other supposedly mythical creatures, such as the Native American Thunderbird, a bird so large that it can pick up a child and whisk it away.
What if the aliens are so adept at manipulating DNA, that they have brought back to life ancient species that once roamed earth, or possibly even another earth-like planet?
Haven't we humans changed the wolf so much that we now have Chihuahuas, tiny dogs that look nothing like their ancient ancestors. Or consider any domesticated animal. Have we not bred some of them to the point, that they only vaguely resemble animals which once roamed free?
Could the Lock Ness Monster, Big Foot, or the Jersy Devil, simply be a culmination of human fears lurking in the darkest recesses of the human mind, or could they be real but misplaced in time? Or could they be creations of mixed DNA, a man beast, a hybrid offspring of two radically different species.
Whatever people are seeing, whatever monsters and living myths lurk in the shadowed recesses of forests, or the dark corners of the human psche, witnesses claim they are real. One day we may be able to fling back the curtain of ignorance and shine light upon the truth.
Monday, February 15, 2010
The unique human mental ability known as Remote viewing, has now gained popularity with the civilian population.
There are ways to test your own remote viewing ability. Even if you think you can't, try it. With a bit of personal effort and training, anyone can remote view.
If you are interested in learning about RV and would like to test yourself, check out the links I have provided below:
Remote Viewing Video
Examples of Remote Viewing at Remote-viewing.com
Remote Viewing- free online test at greaterreality.com
The Farsight Institute
International Remote Viewing Association
Monday, February 8, 2010
ospri.net- Alleged contact with the dead has occurred universally throughout history, taking various forms; as dreams, waking visions and auditory hallucinations, either spontaneous or induced through trance. In many cultures, the spirits of the dead have been sought for their wisdom, advice and knowledge of the future. The dead also seem to initiate their own communication, using whatever means seem to be most effective.
With the advent of electromagnetic technology, mysterious messages have been communicated by telegraph, wireless, phonographs and radio. A curious phenomenon of modern times is the communication via the telephone. Phone calls from the dead seem to be random and occasional
occurrences that happen without explanation. The great majority are exchanges between persons who shared a close emotional tie while both were living: spouses, parents and children, siblings, and occasionally friends and other relatives.
Most communications are "intention" calls, initiated by the deceased to impart a message, such as farewell upon death, a warning of impending danger, or information the living needs to carry out a task. For example, actress Ida Lupino's father, Stanley, who died intestate in London during World War II, called Lupino six months after his death to relate information concerning his estate, the location of some unknown but important papers.
Some calls appear to have no other purpose than to make contact with the living; many of these occur on emotionally charged "anniversary" days, such as Mothers day or Fathers day, a birthday or holiday. In a typical” anniversary” call, the dead may do nothing more than repeat a phrase over and over, such as "Hello, Mom, is that you?"
Persons who have received phone calls from the dead report that the voices are exactly the same as when the deceased was living, furthermore, the voice often uses pet names and words. The telephone usually rings normally, although some recipients say that the ring sounded flat and abnormal. In many cases, the connection is bad, with a great deal of static and line noise, and occasionally the faint voices of the other persons are heard, as though lines have been crossed. In many cases, the voice of the dead one is difficult to hear and grows fainter as the call goes on. Sometimes, the voice just fades away but the line remains open, and the recipient hangs up after giving up on further communication. Sometimes the call is terminated by the dead and the recipient hers the click of disengagement, other times, the line simply goes dead.
The phantom phone calls typically occur when the recipient is in a passive state of mind. If the recipient knows the caller is dead, the shock is great and the phone call very brief, invariably, the caller terminates the call after a few seconds or minutes, or the line goes dead. If the recipient does not know the caller is dead, a lengthy conversation of up to 30 minutes or so may take place, during which the recipient is not aware of anything amiss. In a minority of cases, the call is placed person-to-person, long-distance with the assistance of a mysterious operator. Checks with the telephone company later turn up no evidence of a call being places.
Similar phone calls from the dead are "intention" phone calls occurring between two living persons. Such calls are much rarer than calls from the dead. In a typical "intention" call, the caller thinks about making the call but never does, the recipient nevertheless receives a call. In some cases, emergencies precipitate phantom calls, a surgeon is summoned by a nurse to the hospital to perform an emergency operation, a priest is called by a "relative" to give last rites to a dying man and so forth.
Some persons who claim to have had UFO encounters report receiving harassing phantom phone calls. The calls are received soon after the witness returns home, or within a day or two of the encounter, in many cases, the calls come before the witness has shared the experience with anyone, stranger still, they are often placed to unlisted phone numbers. The unidentified caller warns the witness not to talk and to "forget" what he or she saw.
Phone calls allegedly may be placed to the dead as well. The caller does not find out until sometime after the call that the person on the other end has been dead. In one such case, a woman dreamed of a female friend she had not seen for several years. In the disturbing dream, she witnessed the friend sliding down into a pool of blood. Upon awakening, she worried that the dream was a portent of trouble, and called the friend. She was relieved when the friend answered. The friend explained that she had been in the hospital, had been released and was due to be readmitted in a few days. She demurred when the woman offered to visit, saying she would call later. The return call never came. The woman called her friend again, to be told by a relative that the friend has been dead for six months at the time the conversation took place.
In several cases studied by researchers, the deceased callers make reference to an anonymous” they” and caution that there is little time to talk. The remarks imply that communication between the living and the dead is not only difficult, but not necessarily desirable.
Most phone calls from the dead occur within 24 hours of the death of the caller. Most short calls come from those who have been dead seven days or less: most lengthy calls come from those who have been dead several months. One of the longest death-intervals on record is two years.
In a small number of cases, the callers are strangers who say they are calling on behalf of a third party, whom the recipient later discovered is dead.
Several theories exist as to the origin of phantom phone calls. (1) They are indeed placed by the dead, who somehow manipulate the telephone mechanisms and circuitry: (2) they are deceptions of elemental-type spirits who enjoy playing tricks on the living: (3) they are psychokinetic acts caused subconsciously by the recipient, whose intense desire to communicate with the dead creates a type of hallucinatory experience: (4) they are entirely fantasy created by the recipient.
For the most part, phantom phone calls are not seriously regarded by parapsychologists. In the early 20th century, numerous devices were built by investigators in hopes of capturing ghostly voices: many of them were modifications of the telegraph and wireless. Thomas Alva Edison, whose parents were Spiritualists, believed that a telephone could be invented that would connect the living to the dead. He verified that he was working on such a device, but apparently it never was completed before his death.
"Psychic telephone" experiments were conducted in the 1940's in England and America. Interest in the phenomenon waned until the 1960’s, following the findings of Konstantin Raudive that ghostly voices could be captured on electromagnetic tape.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
MUFON Case # 21794
Date: 2009-11-01 02:00
Distance: 100 feet or less
Entity Type: Reptile-like
Description: FIRST SIGHTING OF BEING ON GROUND. 2ND SIGHTING OF MASSIVE SHIP
I had to get up around 2am to take dogs out to backyard to go potty. while standing out there half asleep my dog started to growl towards other side of finger across from me(i live on a lake down a finger).i looked to the other side of finger and noticed what appeared to be a very large object crouched down with a sort of cape draped down.all of a sudden all of my dogs were looking across finger and starting to bark .i called for the dogs to come inside now because the neighbors get sort of upset when dogs are barking, while looking at this object at same time. all of a sudden it stood up and could see greenish colored eyes on it. i got scared and yelled at dogs to get in now!i looked back up and this being was now flying in air towards me and flew along sideways and stared at me and flew away.i was scared and dogs were too.next day it was back to normal.evening came around and i was still rather shook up about the day before.about 11pm that night I took the dogs out a little earlier hoping they would sleep till morning .it was and errie feeling standing out there. i looked hard but didnt see that being across the finger from me anymore. i looked up to skies and it was very clear. so clear that the sky looked really strange .i looked harder and started to notice that there was a line of an object in sky almost the size of a football field above me in the sky .as i looked more closely i noticed that the stars on the inside of this black lining were brighter than regular stars. what i was actually seeing was a massive ship attempting to camoflauge its underbelly as the sky. i stared a little more and then a sharp instant pain entered my abdomen.i immediately felt my mind very confused and it was telling me to go back inside now or else.i cannot explain what happened at that moment .only can tell u that 2 weeks later was in hospital with total with major complications almost dying from massive bacterial infection) and almost died.had to be off 2/1/2 months off of work and havent been the same since.cant remember things.simple things. i am only 48 years i should not be experiencing alzheimers already. what i seen was very real and has made me realize something. i used to get excieted about ufos. no more. something else happend the year before but i will relay if and when u r ready .i live in helendale and about 2 miles from an airbase .strange things happen there all the time. all of those people that live in surrounding area of this base say they see small round lit balls (orbs) flying around at night.thank you for letting me tell u about my experience .
Note: Ok, so it's California but strange things are being seen all over the world.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Photo Courtesy of Nation Geographic
(Click image for larger view)
ethiopianreview.com- “This is a dinosaur, this is amazing,” he enthuses.
“We’re talking about salamanders that usually fit in the palm of your hand. This one will chop your hand off.”
As a leader of Conservation International’s (CI) scientific programmes, and co-chair of the Amphibian Specialist Group with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Dr Gascon has seen a fair few frogs and salamanders in his life; but little, he says, to compare with this.
Fortunately for all of our digits, this particular giant salamander is in no position to chop off anything, trapped in a tank in the visitors’ centre in Maniwa City, about 800km west of Tokyo.
But impressive it certainly is: about 1.7m (5ft 6in) long, covered in a leathery skin that speaks of many decades passed, with a massive gnarled head covered in tubercles whose presumed sensitivity to motion probably helped it catch fish by the thousand over its lifetime.
If local legend is to be believed, though, this specimen is a mere tadpole compared with the biggest ever seen around Maniwa.
A 17th Century tale, related to us by cultural heritage officer Takashi Sakata, tells of a salamander (or hanzaki, in local parlance) 10m long that marauded its way across the countryside chomping cows and horses in its tracks.
A local hero was found, one Mitsui Hikoshiro, who allowed the hanzaki to swallow him whole along with his trusty sword – which implement he then used, in the best heroic tradition, to rend the beast from stem to stern.
It proved not to be such a good move, however.
Crops failed, people started dying in mysterious ways – including Mr Hikoshiro himself.
Pretty soon the villagers drew the obvious conclusion that the salamander’s spirit was wreaking revenge from beyond the grave, and must be placated. That is why Maniwa City boasts a shrine to the hanzaki.
The story illustrates the cultural importance that this remarkable creature has in some parts of Japan.
Its scientific importance, meanwhile, lies in two main areas: its “living fossil” identity, and its apparently peaceful co-existence with the chytrid fungus that has devastated so many other amphibian species from Australia to the Andes.
“The skeleton of this species is almost identical to that of the fossil from 30 million years ago,” recounts Takeyoshi Tochimoto, director of the Hanzaki Institute near Hyogo.
“Therefore it’s called the ‘living fossil’.”
The hanzaki (Andrias japonicus) only has two close living relatives: the Chinese giant salamander (A. davidianus), which is close enough in size and shape and habits that the two can easily cross-breed, and the much smaller hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) of the south-eastern US.
Creatures rather like these were certainly around when dinosaurs dominated life on land, and fossils of the family have been found much further afield than their current tight distribution – in northern Europe, certainly, where scientists presumed the the lineages had gone extinct until tales of the strange Oriental forms made their way back to thescientific burghers of Vienna and Leiden a couple of centuries ago.
“They are thought to be extremely primitive species, partly due to the fact that they are the only salamanders that have external fertilisation,” says Don Church, asalamander specialist with CI.
The fertilisation ritual must be quite some sight.
Into a riverbank den that is usually occupied by the dominant male (the “den-master”) swim several females, and also a few other males.
The den-master and the females release everything they have got, turning incessantly to stir the eggs and spermatozoa round in a roiling mass.
Maybe the lesser males sneak in a package or two as well; their function in the ménage-a-many is not completely clear.
When the waters still, everyone but the den-master leaves; and he alone guards the nest and its juvenile brood.
It is not an ideal method of reproduction.
Research shows that genetic diversity among the hanzaki is smaller than it might be, partly as a result of the repeated polygamy, which in turn leaves them more prone to damage through environmental change.
But for the moment, it seems to work.
Outside the breeding season, the salamander’s life appears to consist of remaining as inconspicuous as possible in the river (whether hiding in leaves, as the small ones do, or under the riverbanks like their larger fellows) and snapping whatever comes within reach, their usual meandering torpor transformed in an instant as the smell of a fish brushes by.
The adults’ jaws are not to be treated lightly.
Among Dr Tochimoto’s extensive collection of photos is one of bloodied human hands; and as he warns: “you may be attacked and injured; please be careful”.
When the chytrid fungus was identified just over a decade ago, indications were that Japan would be an unlikely place to look for its origins.
With the discovery of chytrid on museum specimens of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), an out-of-Africa migration spurred by human transportation of amphibians once seemed the simple likelihood.
But just last year, a team of researchers led by Koichi Goka from Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies published research showing that certain strains of chytrid were present on Japanesegiant salamanders, and only on Japanese giant salamanders, including museum specimens from a century or so back; and that the relationship seemed benign.
The hanzaki-loving strains of chytrid appear to differ from those that are proving so virulent to amphibians now.
Unravelling all that, says Don Church, might tell us something about the origins and spread of chytrid – and there is so much diversity among Japanese chytrid strains that the country is now being touted as a possible origin, as diversity often implies a long evolutionary timeframe.
More importantly, the discovery might also provide options for treating the infection.
“In the case of the North American salamanders, what was found was that they have bacteria living on their skin that produce peptides that are lethal to the amphibian chytridfungus,” says Dr Church.
“And those bacteria might be able to be transplanted to other species that can’t fight off the fungus.”
This is a line of research that is very much in play in laboratories around the world.
It appears likely now that studies of the Japanese giant salamander can expand the number of chytrid-fighting bacteria known to science, and so extend the options for developing treatments for an infection that currently cannot be controlled in the wild.
But that can only come to pass if the giant salamanders endure; something that is not guaranteed, with the challenges they face in modern Japan including, perhaps, new strains of chytrid itself.
There is as yet no modern hero able to still the pace of habitat loss or prevent invasion from rival species.
(Source: BBC News)
Groundhog Judgment Day: PETA demands a robot Punxsutawney Phil
Graphic courtesy Boston Phoenix
(Click image for larger view)
In the spirit of the season, PETA have momentarily put aside their paint-slinging and nudity-exploiting, opting to set their sights on a new cause: freeing Punxsutawney Phil from a life of enslavement and untold horrors by replacing him with -- wait for it -- an animatronic rodent replica. Phil has been alerting us to the onset of spring for years: a career that PETA believes he was forced into against his will. Not so, argues the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. William Deeley, president of that very Skull and Bones-sounding society, explains that Phil is treated "better than the average child in Pennsylvania." (Point and case, the firebombing of a house full o' Pennsylvanian tykes back in 1985. Well played, Deeley.)
Will Gobblers Knob be transforming into the Uncanny Valley anytime soon? We can't wait to find out.(Source: Boston Phoenix)
A UFO landing strip for Harbour Mille?
ganderbeacon.ca- There has been another UFO sighting in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to CBC News, Darlene Stewart spotted an object coming out of the ocean while taking pictures of the sunset over Harbour Mille, on the South Coast.
The object disappeared into the sky trailing flames or smoke. Ms. Stewart called her neighbor, Emmy Pardy, and the two women, along with Stewart's husband, said they saw three similar objects flying through the air minutes apart. Darlene Stewart’s photo shows that the object resembled a rocket!
The RCMP confirmed that there was something in the sky, but that is the extent of the disclosure. Speculation is running rampant – from secret missiles tested by the French government off St. Pierre, to comets, to aliens from outer and inner space – but the sighting remains a mystery.
In a funding announcement speech in St. John’s, Defense Minister Peter MacKay said that there have been no reported missile tests. Jokingly, he announced funding for an alien landing strip at Harbour Mille.
Stories of UFO sightings are compelling. We are at the same time consumed by the overwhelming need to know and the tantalizing fear that there is something out there of which we know nothing. Ever since humans have inhabited this planet, we have imagined we are not alone, but are scared out of our wits to face the unknown.
My personal encounter with a light on the back beach in Lumsden North, as a child, has nourished a dream to get up close and personal with a UFO. Probably the ghost stories, told around the wood stove during the long winter nights, whetted my appetite for more information about the unknown and the supernatural.
One day on the way out from Gander, it was my luck to witness one of those triangular shaped aircrafts that others have said is not from this world. It was flying like a helicopter, but it was triangular shaped and silent. It wasn’t close and personal enough for me to class it as anything other than a strange flying object. And Gander is the crossroads of the world!
There are probably good rational explanations for everything we see that looks strange. But many of us are romantics and like to spin a decent story. Back in the good old days, talk was entertainment and the person who could spin an enjoyable yarn or cuffer was the life of the party, and in great demand.
Conspiracy theories make good stories. The hype around a UFO crashing in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947, with the alleged recovery of extra-terrestrial debris and bodies, will not go away. Stories about a secret military base 90 miles North of Las Vagas, Nevada, known as Area 51, which may have more information about UFOs than it lets on, capture our imagination and linger in our memories.
The fact that recently the American government has admitted finally that there is actually a base in Nevada, does nothing to dispel the mystery surrounding the base. Rather, it adds to the alien conspiracy theory.
In this age of ‘openness and transparency,’ governments are opening their files on UFOs. The British government began opening its secret files in 2008. According to Nick Pope, a UFO expert who helped the British Ministry of Defense investigate the phenomenon, the most common things that are mistaken for UFOs are “aircraft lights, bright stars, planets, satellites, meteors and airships.” Most sightings are easily explained.
But there are still a few sightings that cannot be clarified by the usual suspects. One prime example happened at an airport in England. At four in the afternoon on April 19, 1984, experienced air traffic controllers on the East Coast of England claimed they had seen an unidentified flying object touch down briefly at the airport and take off again at a terrific speed. What they saw has never been explained.
Can the sightings be attributed to mass hysteria, or something similar, such as the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome? Perhaps … but we can imagine that not many people may feel compelled to say that they have seen a UFO just because someone else has.
Who would want to be labeled a kook? The air traffic controllers chose to remain anonymous for that very reason. The stigma attached to a belief in aliens is a huge barrier to the reporting of many UFO sightings. That may change now that the Catholic Church has performed an about turn on the matter.
Scientific experts studying the possibility of extraterrestrial life for the Vatican have concluded that other intelligent beings could exist in outer space. Are we close to a breakthrough on the subject of Aliens? Perhaps Peter MacKay may have to seriously consider funding that UFO landing strip at Harbour Mille.
We can smile about Aliens, but we would like to be serious about missiles. Senator George Baker and others have said that if French, or other, missiles are being tested, near the province, the Canadian government should know about it and, if they don’t know, they should press world governments for answers. Are answers too much to expect from paternalistic governments?
ghosttheory.com- Matthew Didier and Sue St.Clair’s paranormal blog was sent a chilling image.
As the story goes, a Dr. Kimberly Molto sent the paranormal duo an image in which she believes her dead husband appears.
Dr. Molto’s husband had died in their basement of a massive coronary years before the picture was taken. As always, ghostly images should be carefully analyzed and taken with a grain of salt. All we know about this is the doctor’s story and a submitted blurred image.
Interesting picture nonetheless.
Full source: Sue/Matthew Paranormal Blog
Posted to the story, this was added:
This photo was shared with us over the Christmas holidays by Dr Kimberly Molto a research scientist specializing in neurobiology in Ontario. The photo was taken by a widow in 1938 who identifies the figure seen in the photo as her deceased husband. The photo was taken (according to his widow) several years after he died of a massive coronary in the basement that he had been renovating.
Please note that I cropped the photo during the scanning purpose to center the image.
This is one of those photos where you either believe the photographer’s information or you don’t. I find it to be a very interesting photograph!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The infamous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, operated by the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society.
MANSFIELD, OH, February 03, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The infamous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, operated by the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, today announced the 2010 dates for its wildly popular overnight Ghost Hunts. Named one of the Travel Channel's "101 Things to do before you Die," these unusual overnight experiences are a hit with anyone interested in paranormal activity or just seeking a truly unusual travel getaway. The Hunts begin March 13 and are offered at least twice monthly through December 11, 2010.
The Ghost Hunts have grown dramatically in popularity, with all of the proceeds going directly into restoring the incredible architecture of this important historical structure. Each Hunt is limited to 100 participants. 2010 Ghost Hunt dates include:
Saturday, March 13, Saturday, March 27, Saturday, April 10, Saturday, April 24, Friday, May 7, Saturday, May 22 -sold out, Friday, June 4, Saturday, June 12, Friday, June 25, Saturday, July 31, Saturday, August 14, Saturday, August 28, Friday, September 3, Friday, November 12, Saturday, November 20, Saturday, and Saturday, December 11.
In addition to the Ghost Hunts, eight Ghost Walks have been added to the 2010 calendar. During the Ghost Walks, tour guides will lead guests through the dark halls and corridors of the reformatory to spots where paranormal activity has been reported. Stories of eerie experiences, murder and death will make this a hauntingly fun event for all. 2010 Ghost Walks will be held on the following dates:
Friday, May 23, Sunday, June 6, Friday, June 18, Friday, July 9, Sunday, July 25, Friday, August 20, Sunday, August 29, and Sunday, September 5.
During the Ghost Hunts, volunteer tour guides circulate through the prison to answer questions and outline its history. Participants are also free to explore the prison on their own. However, the prison is not lighted and participants are encouraged to bring flashlights.
The cost of the Ghost Hunts is $65/person and includes access to the building from 8 p.m.-5 a.m., as well as late-night pizza and soft drinks. All participants must be 21 years of age or older. The Ghost Walks cost $15 for adults and $8 for children, ages 12-17. Tours run from 8 - 10 p.m. and reservations are required. In addition, public tours of the Reformatory are offered each Sunday, May through early September. More information, including a journal from past Ghost Hunts, is available at www.mansfieldtourism.com or www.mrps.org, or by calling toll free, (800) 642-8282.
Built in 1886, Ohio State Reformatory (OSR) served for 94 years as a working prison, housing more than 154,000 prisoners. OSR has been the setting for major motion pictures, including The Shawshank Redemption, Air Force One and others. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the prison boasts the world's largest free-standing steel cellblock.
Ghost Hunt Recovery packages are offered by area hotels as the perfect remedy after a night of spirit chasing, with some packages including a Jacuzzi tub, indoor pools, late check out and breakfast. The Shawshank Trail is just one of a long list of truly one-of-a-kind experiences travelers find when visiting in Mansfield, Ohio. Breathtaking scenery and rural and hometown experiences, as well as hiking, biking, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, bird watching and other outdoor adventures are among the many attractions. Getaway package details, a free visitors guide and complete information on Mansfield's many unforgettable visitor experiences are available at mansfieldtourism.com or (800) 642-8282.
The Ohio State Reformatory lies in Mansfield Ohio, 80 miles from Cleveland. Considered to be the most haunted prison in the country, it more closely resembles a Transylvania Castle. Closed in 1990, the Mansfield Reformatory was then opened to the public for tours.
While active, it was home to America’s worst criminals. As many as 2,500 prisoners were imprisoned at a one time. One section alone holds nearly 1,200 cells.
Closed due to lawsuits related to inhumane treatment of the prisoners (150 inmates are said to have died there), the reformatory is now the haunt to those who perished. In the 1950s, the Warden’s wife was accidentally killed by a gunshot and it is believed she still haunts the hall of the administrative building where she lived. In the basement, the spirit of a young boy has been seen, appearing as if he is leaning down in the corner.
People who have walked these halls and entered the cells, claim a strong feeling of "presence". It's no doubt that those who died are not happy, nor are they the friendliest ghosts you will meet.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.
The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.
After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.
Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.
Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill
She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.
Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.
Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.
No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.
Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.
If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.
Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.
Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."
Doctor casts new light on cat that can predict death
SYDNEY (Reuters) - When doctors and staff realized that a cat living in a U.S. nursing home could sense when someone was going to die, the feline, Oscar, was portrayed as a furry grim reaper or four-legged angel of death.
But Dr. David Dosa, who broke the news of Oscar's abilities in a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, said he never intended to make Oscar sound creepy or his arrival at a bedside to be viewed negatively.
Dosa said he hopes his newly released book, "Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat" will put the cat in a more favorable light as well as providing a book to help people whose loved ones are terminally ill.
"After the New England Journal article you got the feeling that if Oscar is in your bed then you are dead, but you did not really see what is going on for these family members," said Dosa, an assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.
"I wanted to write a book that would go beyond Oscar's peculiarities, to tell why he is important to family members and caregivers who have been with him at the end of a life."
Dosa said Oscar's story is fascinating on many levels.
Oscar was adopted as a kitten from an animal shelter to be raised as a therapy cat at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, which cares for people with severe dementia and in the final stages of various illnesses.
When Oscar was about six months old the staff noticed that he would curl up to sleep with patients who were about to die.
So far he has accurately predicted about 50 deaths.
Dosa recounts one instance when staff was convinced of the imminent death of one patient but Oscar refused to sit with that person, choosing instead to be on the bed of another patient down the hallway. Oscar proved to be right. The person he sat with died first, taking staff on the ward by surprise.
Dosa said there is no scientific evidence to explain Oscar's abilities, but he thinks the cat might be responding to a pheromone or smell that humans simply don't recognize.
Dosa said his main interest was not to delve further into Oscar's abilities but to use Oscar as a vehicle to tell about terminal illness, which is his main area of work.
"There is a lot to tell about what Oscar does, but there is a lot to tell on the human level of what family members go through at the end of life when they are dealing with a loved one in a nursing home or with advanced dementia," he said.
"Perhaps the book is a little more approachable because there is a cat in it. We really know so little about nursing homes, and this tries to get rid of this myth that they are horrid factories where people go to die."
Dosa said the story of Oscar, who is now nearly five years old, initially had sparked a bit more interest in families wanting to send their loved ones to Steere House.
Oscar has even been thanked by families in obituaries for providing some comfort in the final hours of life.
But he said Oscar remains unchanged by the attention, spending most of his days staring out of a window, although he has become a bit friendlier.
"The first time I met Oscar he bit me. We have warmed over the years. We have moved into a better place," said Dosa.
"I don't think Oscar is that unique, but he is in a unique environment. Animals are remarkable in their ability to see things we don't, be it the dog that sniffs out cancer or the fish that predicts earthquakes. Animals know when they are needed."