Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top Fifteen Horror Films of the Decade (2010-2019)

When horror fans look back at the horror movies that were made in the 2010s, a number of prevailing themes emerge when it comes to what frightened audiences most. Over the course of the decade, audiences said goodbye to the found footage and "torture porn" trends, as the Paranormal Activity and Saw franchises stagnated, instead seeing both an embrace of styles that had dwindled in previous years, as well as ambitious filmmakers taking unconventional approaches to tales of terror. The growing number of platforms for horror stories saw the world of TV and streaming services compete for attention, but an impressive number of horror movies left an indelible mark on the genre on the big screen.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Incarnation: God’s Covert Strike Against Satan

By Stephen Beale

In the war between heaven and hell, the Incarnation was God’s ultimate covert op against Satan.

Satan, in his haughtiness, could never have imagined that God would humble Himself to the point of becoming fully man. When God had appeared in ancient Israel it was in forms fearsome and fantastic—the pillar of alternating fire and clouds, the whirlwind that accosted Job, the lightning-flecked, amber-yellow storm cloud that astonished Ezekiel.

But a baby born of a virgin, delivered in a manger? Satan never saw it coming.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Case of Vampirism in the Life of Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos

The following story is one we often encounter in stories that take place in Greece during the Turkish occupation - a sinner who is excommunicated cannot decompose and find rest in the afterlife unless they are pardoned and the excommunication is lifted. In the story we are not told why the body was exhumed. It is probably because people believed the excommunicated woman was a vrykolakas, which is a Greek equivalent of a vampire, an excommunicant who was believed to rise out of the grave at night and haunt people.

Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos and the 
Dead Woman Under Excommunication

One one occasion, when Saint Dionysios found himself in the city, a funeral was being conducted in the cemetery of the Church of Saint Nicholas of the Strangers. The church was named this way because many strangers were buried in that plot of land. This church was also the Metropolitan Cathedral of Zakynthos. It happened that the people opened a certain grave, so that they might bury someone else inside. There they discovered a woman who had long been dead, but whose body and clothing had not decomposed. The reason for this was because this wretched woman had died under the ban of excommunication.

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Mischievous Companions of Saint Nicholas

The companions of Saint Nicholas are a group of closely related figures who accompany Saint Nicholas throughout the territories formerly in the Franco-German Empire or the countries that it influenced culturally in Western and Central Europe. These characters act as a foil to the benevolent Christmas gift-bringer, threatening to thrash or abduct disobedient children. Jacob Grimm (Deutsche Mythologie) associated this character with the pre-Christian house spirit (kobold, elf) which could be benevolent or malicious, but whose mischievous side was emphasized after Christianization. The association of the Christmas gift-bringer with elves has parallels in English and Scandinavian folklore, and is ultimately and remotely connected to the Christmas elf in modern American folklore.