Some creepy real events that actually happened on Halloween

For some of us, October 31st is the most fun day of the year. And, for others, it’s the spookiest. Bad things always happen on Halloween, in a variety of horror movies, but that’s just movie magic, you think, because Halloween is actually just like any other day. And, most of the time, that’s true, but not in these cases. Famed magician Harry Houdini claimed he could take a blow to the abdomen without being taken down. It was October 22, 1926, when a student at McGill University asked if…

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#TodayInHistory – October 31

October 31 – Some important events on this day. 1517 👉🏼 Martin Luther sends his 95 Theses to Albrecht von Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Mainz, precipitating The Protestant Reformation 1541 👉🏼 Michelangelo Buonarroti finishes painting “The Last Judgement” in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City. 1756 👉🏼 Giacomo Casanova escapes from prison in Venice by climbing onto the roof. Giacomo Casanova is remembered for his love affairs and, in popular culture, his name is now synonymous with “womanizer”. However Casanova was the epitome of the eighteenth century gentleman, learned, adventurous and…

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12 Ways Halloween is celebrated around the globe

In America, people associate Halloween with pumpkins, costumes, candy, and spooky stories or ghosts but, around the world, it could be a little different. The holiday might look slightly different this year since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but we can reminisce on years past. If most places in the U.S. celebrate Halloween in much the same way, one city that stands apart is New Orleans. This town loves both to party and voodoo, so one can find things here they couldn’t anywhere else, from…

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Nekobiyaka: the world’s only black cat cafe

The Japanese castle town of Himeji is home to the only known black cat café in the world, Nekobiyaka, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in the company of about a dozen felines, strictly black! Despite there are hundreds of cat cafes all over Japan, (including the one located in Tokyo’s district of Akihabara), but only one dedicated exclusively to black cats. Nekobiyaka opened in 2013 and has since become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Himeji. The owner, Ms. Yagi, came up with idea of a black cat…

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#TodayInHistory – October 30

October 30 – Some important events on this day. 1270 👉🏼 The Eighth Crusade and siege of Tunis ended by agreement between Charles I of Sicily (brother to King Louis IX of France, who had died months earlier) and the sultan of Tunis. 1340 👉🏼 Battle of Rio Salado (or Tarifa): King Afonso IV of Portugal and King Alfonso XI of Castile defeat Sultan Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali of Morocco and Yusuf I of Granada, last Marīnids invasion of Iberian Peninsula 1784 👉🏼 Napoléon Bonaparte admitted to the elite École Militaire…

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Why the Halloween colors are black and orange?

Probably, we tend to take holiday colors for granted, not giving them too much thought since they’re simply ingrained in our culture. And It’s usually pretty obvious what colors go with which holidays: all you need to do is step into most general or grocery stores to see full aisles filled with the hues of the season. But what might be less obvious is why certain colors are associated with certain holidays. Why are Christmas colors red and green, for instance? Well, in due time, I will also explain this…

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Grange Lido: Abandoned for over 20 years, this art deco seaside swimming pool is a magnificent waste.

We are in Grange-over-Sands, England. Built in 1932, this once-glorious seaside outdoor pool has been left to rot for over 25 years. The lido, an open-air public pool that was popular in 1930s England, was originally filled with saltwater from nearby Morecambe Bay. Adorned with art deco designs, it’s easy to imagine how the lido must have looked in its heyday. The pool is 50m long and bordered by an entrance block with upper viewing gallery and attached sun decks, detached changing wings, terraces, pump house, paddling pool and a…

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#TodayInHistory – October 29

October 29 – Some important events on this day. 539 BC 👉🏼 King Cyrus “the Great” of Persia marches into Babylon, freeing Jewish captives and allowing them to return home 1268 👉🏼 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the German Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings and Holy Roman Emperors, is executed with Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily 1390 👉🏼 First trial for witchcraft in Paris. 1618 👉🏼 English adventurer, writer and courtier Walter Raleigh is beheaded for allegedly conspiring against King James I of England…

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The curious history behind some popular Halloween traditions

Now a night of frolic especially for children in America but now also all over the world, this autumn holiday is actually a mix of old rituals remembering the dead and celebrating the spirit world. You may have found yourself wondering what is the history of Halloween, and why we celebrate it. Well, although it’s a secular holiday today, the history of Halloween has roots in ancient religious and spiritual traditions that have evolved over time. The original Halloween, dating back to ancient times, was a pagan celebration called Samhain.…

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The haunted fields of Andersonville~

When it comes to haunted places in the Deep South of United States, two cities often come to mind: Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. If you’ve ever been to either of these two cities you’ll understand why. And if not, just considering their history, how could they not be, given the bloodshed of the Civil War as well as the horrible Slave Trade? Despite it is easy to understand why these two cities carry a reputation for harboring the souls of the dead, there is another haunted place in…

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#TodayInHistory – October 28

October 28 – Some important events on this day. 1492 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus sights Cuba and claims it for Spain under the name “Juana” 1538 👉🏼 The first university in the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is established on Hispaniola 1746 👉🏼 Peruvian cities of Lima and Callao demolished by earthquake, 18,000 die 1831 👉🏼 Michael Faraday demonstrates his dynamo invention, an electrical generator 1886 👉🏼 Statue of Liberty dedicated by US President Grover Cleveland, celebrated by first confetti (ticker tape) parade in New York City 1904…

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Vintage photographs from a 1930s Halloween

By now we know that Halloween is a festival with ancient origins that is celebrated on October 31st. Traditionally linked to the Anglo-Saxon world, westernization and globalization have now led it to become the cultural heritage of all. The genesis of the festival is controversial, but it is probably common to Celtic and Roman festivals, in that mix of celebrations that coincided with Samhain, the Celtic New Year, and the Latin festivals dedicated to Pomona and the celebration of the departed, the Parentalia. Here are some 1930s photographs, with costumes,…

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Ballycotton Lighthouse, one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland

Built in the late 1840s, Ballycotton Lighthouse sits atop the unspoilt eponymous Island, in Ireland. On January 16, 1847 the paddle steamship Sirius, the first vessel to cross the Atlantic ocean completely under steam, was sailing from Glasgow to Cork via Dublin, but shipwrecked here in dense fog. The disaster claimed the lives of 20 passengers and crew but, luckily, around 70 people lived to tell the story. The lighthouse was built as a result, and it was first lit in 1851. Families of the lightkeepers lived on the island…

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#TodayInHistory – October 27

October 27 – Some important events on this day. 312 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Constantine the Great’s rule over the Roman Empire was impactful for many reasons, one of the most famous being his conversion to Christianity and promotion of the religion during his lifetime. His conversion to Christianity on his deathbed was preceded by the Edict of Milan in 313 which declared tolerance for the Christian faith across the Roman Empire. He also played an influential…

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Some Halloween urban legends that refuse to die

We’ve all heard the scary stories. And Halloween would be nothing without the tricks and, above all, wouldn’t be fun without a scare or two. That’s the allure of the terrifying tales that circulate around this beloved holiday and have taken on legendary status. In any case, some of the 175 million Americans who celebrate this spooky holiday do take the Halloween pranks too far. Here’s the truth behind some popular Halloween-based urban legends…. Really a lunatic has hidden razor blades in apples? 🍎😱 Probably you heard this story when…

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John Wimble: a lifetime at sea…

At the age of 12 John boarded a ship for the first time. And that’s when the sea became his home. John Wimble was born in 1797 in Maidstone, Kent, England. His first voyage at sea was probably at age 12 or 13 and, by 1823, aged 26, he had gained sufficient skill and experience to meet the criteria laid down by the Honourable East India Company for captains of ships contracted to carry goods to and from India. At the time, he was in charge of an “extra” ship…

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#TodayInHistory – October 26

October 26 – Some important events on this day. 740 👉🏼 An earthquake strikes Constantinople, causing damage to city walls and buildings 1366 👉🏼 Comet 55P/1366 U1 (Tempel-Tuttle) approaches 0.0229 AUs of Earth 1850 👉🏼 Robert McClure sights the fabled Northwest Passage for the first time (from Banks Island towards Melville Island) 1861 👉🏼 Pony Express (Missouri to California) ends after 19 months 1863 👉🏼 International conference begins in Geneva aimed at improving medical conditions on battlefields – beginning of the Red Cross. 1881 👉🏼 Gunfight at the OK Corral:…

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Meikleour Beech Hedge: the Guinness Record holder for largest hedge in the world is a verdant Scottish bulwark.

The Meikleour Beech Hedge, located near the village of Meikleour, in Scotland, measures 30 meters (98 feet) in height, making it the tallest hedge in the world. Planted in 1745, it now lies alongside the A93 Perth-Blairgowrie Road and can be viewed all year round. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the highest hedge in the world, and is most impressive to behold during Spring, when the young green leaves reflect the light, as well as in Fall, when the trees turn russet and gold. The…

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#TodayInHistory – October 25

October 25 – Some important events on this day. 1415 👉🏼 Battle of Agincourt: Henry V’s forces defeat larger French army and the longbow defeats the armoured knight 1616 👉🏼 Dutch East India Company ship “The Eendracht” discovers Dirk-Hartog Island, Australia. Dirk Hartog’s voyage in 1616 was the first recorded European discovery of Australia. Hartog and his crew aboard the Dutch East Indies Company ship Eendracht made their discovery accidentally, landing on the west coast of Australia on what is now called Dirk Hartog Island in Shark Bay. To make…

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Obake Kaidan: a flight of this “ghost staircase” has 40 steps on the way up, but only 39 steps on the way down….

In the Nezu district of Tokyo there is a stone staircase know for a really strange feature. Known as Obake Kaidan, literally “Ghost Stairs”, it has 40 steps on your way up…but 39 when you go down. The staircase was once very narrow and dark, probably deserving of its nickname but, after an expansion work a handrail was added to it and the width of the stairs was doubled. However, the staircase on the left trails off halfway for no reason, and its steps are uneven. Of course many urban…

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#TodayInHistory – October 24

October 24 – Some important events on this day. 1260 👉🏼 Qutuz, Mamluk Sultans of Egypt (1259-60), is assassinated by Baibars, a fellow Mamluk leader, who seizes power for himself 1260 👉🏼 The spectacular Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1360 👉🏼 The Treaty of Brétigny is ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War. 1492 👉🏼 24 Jews are burned at the stake in Mecklenburg, Germany…

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Bolo Lêvedo: Portugal’s volcanic archipelago is home to addictively sweet and chewy muffins…

The beautiful island group of the Azores are one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. Composed of nine very isolated volcanic islands, are situated in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km west of continental Portugal, about 880 km northwest of Madeira, about 1,925 km southeast of Newfoundland, and about 6,392 km northeast of Brazil. All the islands have volcanic origins, although some, such as Santa Maria, have had no recorded activity since the islands were settled. Mount Pico, on the eponymous island, is the highest point in Portugal,…

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#TodayInHistory – October 23

October 23 – Some important events on this day. 4004 BC 👉🏼 Archbishop James Ussher, Primate of All Ireland, announced in 1650 that the universe had been created at 8pm on 23 October 4004 BC. It was a claim famously put to the test in the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 when American teacher John Scopes was accused of violating Tennessee state law by teaching evolution instead of the divine creation of man. Top lawyer Clarence Darrow appeared for the defence while former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan led the…

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Sanatorio Durán: one of the most haunted places in Costa Rica

We are along the road to Irazú Volcano, 7 kilometers north of the city of Cartago, Costa Rica. It’s said Carlos Durán Cartín, an eminent physician who briefly served as president of Costa Rica (1889-90), opened this tuberculosis hospital in 1918 hoping to treat his own daughter who was suffering from the disease, for which there was no known treatment in Central America at the time. Others say that she contracted the disease after the hospital opened but, in any case, he chose a remote location complete with good weather,…

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#TodayInHistory – October 22

October 22 – Some important events on this day. 362 👉🏼 The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire 1633 👉🏼 Battle of Liaoluo Bay: Dutch East India Company defeated by Chinese Ming naval forces in southern Fujian sea 1721 👉🏼 Tsar Peter the Great becomes “All-Russian Imperator” 1797 👉🏼 First parachute jump is made over Paris. André-Jacques Garnerin made the first documented parachute jump on this day, landing safely after exiting a balloon 3,200ft above a park in Paris. It is said…

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New Jersey Devil’s Tree: an allegedly cursed tree that represents a town’s reckoning with a racist past.

Drivers near the corner of Mountain Road and Emerald Valley Lane in Bernards Township, New Jersey, come upon a tree that rises from the brush that, at sunset, becomes a dark silhouette against the field that stretches just behind it. Known simply as the Devil’s Tree, the oak is believed to have disturbing powers, cursing anyone who harms or simply touches it. By all accounts, it is at least two hundred years old and, according to the locals, everyone in the vicinity of Bernards Township seems to have a story…

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The tragedy of Aberfan: what happened that fateful October 21, 1966

A terrible tragedy known across the world by the name of the South Wales village where it happened, Aberfan, occurred on this day, October 21, 1966, when millions of cubic metres of excavated mining debris came thundering down a hillside, engulfing a farm, several houses, and also Pantglas Junior school, where 116 children died. In those days big lump coal was required for domestic heating so waste and fine particles left after the washing process, was loaded onto rail trams and dumped. Every mining community had its tips, and the…

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#TodayInHistory – October 21

October 21 – Some important events on this day. 335 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great rules that Jews are not allowed to purchase and circumcise Christian slaves 1520 👉🏼 Explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet reach Cape Virgenes and become the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific Ocean 1805 👉🏼 Battle of Trafalgar: British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeats combined French and Spanish fleet. Nelson shot and killed during battle. 1854 👉🏼 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War 1858 👉🏼 Jacques…

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When was the lighthouse invented? 👀

Guiding ships for countless centuries, as well as looking spectacular on the horizon, every lighthouse boast at least one of fascinating story. From humble beginnings as primitive flames to their automation today, these flashing lights have come a long way. Did you believe? The earliest from of lighthouses was probably just bonfires on the beach and, since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing it on a platform became a practice that led to the development of our modern beacons. Lighthouses historic beginnings stretch right back to Egypt, where…

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#TodayInHistory – October 20

October 20 – Some important events on this day. 1097 👉🏼 1st Crusaders arrive in Antioch during the First Crusade 1603 👉🏼 Chinese uprising in the Philippines fails after 23,000 killed 1803 👉🏼 US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase 1817 👉🏼 1st Mississippi “Showboat” leaves Nashville on maiden voyage 1827 👉🏼 Battle at Navarino: Engl/Russ/French fleet beat Turk/Egyptian fleet 1864 👉🏼 US President Abraham Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday 1918 👉🏼 In order to secure a WWI armistice, Germany agrees to further concessions. At the eleventh hour…

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