Saturday, October 31, 2020

Ghosts and Hauntings Resource Page




St. Kosmas the Aitolos on Vampirism and the Devil


When we hear the word "devil", it is he who was once the first among angels; it is he who moves people to pride, to murder, to theft; it is he who enters into a dead person, causing him to appear living, and we call him a vrykolakas.*
    - St. Kosmas the Aitolos (First Teaching) 
* A vrykolakas is the Greek equivalent to the traditional vampire of European folklore, and was a commonly accepted reality among the Greek population of the 18th century, especially in rural areas. It should be noted that this word is falsely translated as "ghost" in English translations of this First Teaching of St. Kosmas.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Case of a Greek Orthodox Nun Who Experienced A Terrifying Poltergeist in 1933


One of the strangest mental phenomenas is the mysterious stoning of houses and the unexplained movement of objects, which usually are investigated by the Police, without being able to discover anything at all.

In the past decades, in Athens in particular, similar mysterious incidents had occurred many times, which had given rise to the President of the Society for Psychical Research, Angelos Tanagras, to intervene, for example in Kallithea, Piraeus and elsewhere.

However, despite all the simple explanations given by psychophysiologists, these phenomena, whenever they occurred, always worried people to the greatest extent, as was the case in 1933, with the strange phenomena that took place in a nun's house in Agia Barbara.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

"On Those Who Burn Vampires" (A Greek Orthodox Christian Manual from 1867)


In 1867 a popular 82 page manual for Greek Orthodox Priests was published to aid them in the administration of Holy Confession. This book was called Nomocanon: Various Prayers and Discourses (Νομοκανονικό. Εὐχὲς καὶ λόγοι διάφοροι), and it can be found in many old libraries of Greek monasteries and seminaries. On pages 67-69 there is advice on how a Priest ought to deal with those who burn vampires, with the section titled "On Those Who Burn Vampires" ("Περί των καιόντων τους Βουρκολάκους"). In Greek, a vampire is known as a "vrykolakas", though there are various spellings and pronunciations in Greek, and a Greek vampire may have certain characteristics not familiar to other vampires of folklore from other countries. For the author of this text, vampires were real. The issue was not that people believed in vampires; vampires obviously existed. The issue for spiritual fathers was how to deal with those who burned their undead bodies. Here is an excerpt from this chapter:

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The 1933 Appearance of the Ghost of an Orthodox Priest Dressed in White in Thessaloniki


In the summer of 1933, the Depot district of Thessaloniki was in turmoil. After more than 35 years of rest and invisibility, the ghost of a Saint appeared, as some said, or a priest, as others claimed.

This strange story took place in the Depot district and specifically on Thermopylae Street, where a small hill was located. At the beginning of June, on Friday, at the time when the bells were ringing for Vespers, a ten-year-old boy, Takis Anagnostopoulos, was reading his lessons in front of the window of his house, which was directly opposite the hill, less than fifty meters away.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Saint Gerasimos and the Woman Who Suffered from a Violent Demonic Possession

The Well of Saint Gerasimos

A short time after the repose of Saint Gerasimos in 1581, there came to his monastery a certain woman seeking to be cured of being tormented by an unclean spirit.  Daily she would go to the tomb of the Saint, fall before his relics, and fervently entreat him to deliver her from her oppression that tormented her by using violence.

One night, the spiteful demon, desiring only the destruction of the unfortunate woman, dragged her along the ground and cast her into the well which can found in the courtyard of the monastery. As this was being done, the nuns heard the voice of Saint Gerasimos say to them: "Come quickly, because the demonized woman is in extreme danger and needs help!"

Friday, October 16, 2020

Vasiliki Maliaros, the Greek Who Played a Pivotal Role in "The Exorcist"


"Dimmy, please Dimmy why you do this to me Dimmy?"

Anyone who has seen the horror film The Exorcist remembers well the face and especially the deeply Greek accented (even demonic) voice of Father Damien Karras' mother, but few know anything about her. Well, her name is Vasiliki Maliaros (Βασιλική Μαλλιαρού), and today would have been her birthday.

Vasiliki Maliaros was born on October 16, 1883 in Athens, Greece and emigrated with her family at a young age to New York City. Director William Friedkin "discovered" her in a Greek Bronx diner when she was 88 years old and invited her to play a pivotal role in his latest film which was to be released in 1973, The Exorcist, as Maria Karras. Friedkin had gone to many Greek diners before filming began looking for a woman who fit the Greek motherly role perfectly, and when he heard the voice of Vasiliki and saw her face, he knew she was perfect for the part. The only problem was, being in her late 80's, she had never acted before; of course, you wouldn't know it from watching her lovable yet sometimes creepy performance in the one and only film she ever made.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

When Saint Paisios the Athonite Spoke With the Rotten Corpse of a Tormented Old Woman


Saint Paisios related the following experience:

"I  knew  an  old  woman  who  was  very  stingy.  Her daughter was very good,  and  whatever  she  wanted  to  give  as  alms  she  would  throw  out  the window  so  she  could  leave  the  house  with  empty  hands,  because  her mother  would  always  check  to  see  if  she  was  taking  anything.  Then  she would  go  pick  up  whatever  it  was  and  give  it  away.  But  if  she  told  her mother  that  'the  monk'  (that  is,  me)  had  asked for something, then her mother would be willing to give it up.

After her death, I saw a young man (her guardian angel), and he said to me, 'Come, so-and-so wants you.'  I couldn’t understand what happened to me, but we were  standing in front of a grave in Konitsa. He moved his hand, like this, and the grave opened. Inside,  I  saw  a  grimy mess and the old woman, who had started to decay. She was calling out, 'Monk, save me.' My heart went out to her.

Friday, October 9, 2020

How Pious Christians Approach Stories of Evil Things of Wicked Persons


"For if history relates good things of good men, the attentive hearer is excited to imitate that which is good; or if it mentions evil things of wicked persons, nevertheless the religious and pious hearer or reader, shunning that which is hurtful and perverse, is the more earnestly excited to perform those things which he knows to be good, and worthy of God."

- Venerable Bede (Eccl. Hist., Bk. 1, Preface)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A Once Popular Icon of Fear and Mortality

In Russian iconography during the 17th and 18th century there was icon to remind Christians that they are mortal beings and taught them how they ought to direct their fear. It tells about the futility of human transitory hopes and efforts, about the inevitability of death. The hero is a man endowed with power and wealth. This plot was popular throughout the 19th century.
There are two plot variations. The hero of the first image is a merchant known as a mortal man who has spent many years and efforts to accumulate earthly riches, as depicted before him. But on his face there is sadness, anxiety and fear of death. The image of Death with a scythe behind him and a coffin beneath him reminds him of the impending punishment for the mortal sin of greed. Christ is above, the Judge of all.

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Incorrupt Right Arm of Saint Cyprian in his Church in Bucharest and Some of It's Terrifying Tales

In the Zlatari Church, or Church of Saint Cyprian, of Bucharest, Romania is a wonderworking relic that faithful Christians flock to in order to be delivered from curses and spells - the right arm of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, a former magician of the third century who converted to Christianity and became a Christian Bishop.
The church itself, a Romanian historic monument known as “a church of miracles” due to the alleged powers of Saint Cyprian’s arm, got its name from the goldsmiths, or “zlătari,” who lived in the neighborhood and built the original wooden church in the 17th century. It was rebuilt in 1850, after nearly being destroyed by earthquakes earlier in the 1800s, and is known for the beautiful frescoes by Gheorghe Tattarescu that decorate the walls and the door.