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Is There An Afterlife? The Strangest Experiments Ever Done To Find Out



For a very long time, humanity has been tormented by this question. For some, religion has provided the answer. Others kept searching and oftentimes employed strange methods to test whether death is the end of it all.

Here are some of the most intriguing and bizarre ways people have gone about proving or disproving this conundrum.

The 21 Grams Experiment

You might be familiar with this one but it makes for an interesting, albeit flawed theory. In 1901, Dr. Duncan MacDougall, a physicist from Massachusetts performed a series of experiments intended to prove whether the human soul had weight. Not in the mystical term but rather weight as a physical property.
MacDougall wanted to measure if any significant change in his patients’ mass occurred at their time of death. He placed six terminally ill patients who suffered from tuberculosis on an industrial scale which was sensitive to two tenths of an ounce.
According to MacDougall, all six of the patients lost three fourths of an ounce or approximately 21 grams after taking their last breath.
As a control measure, he subjected 15 dogs to the same experiment and noticed no change in weight. He therefore concluded that the difference in weight could be accounted as the weight of the human soul.
As interesting as his theory might be, it has no scientific basis and it turns out MacDougall had been cherry picking when he published his results. In fact, only one of his patients had lost 21 grams after death and there’s a reasonable explanation for the loss: after death, the lungs no longer cool the blood and sweating might occur.
The water lost through post-mortem sweating could add up to the missing 21 grams. As for the poor dogs, they didn’t have any sweat glands through which they could have lost water.


EVP, short for Electronic Voice Phenomena refer to strange sounds that sometimes show up on electronic recordings. Those with a penchant for the paranormal believe these sounds are the disembodied voices of the departed.
The sounds aren’t usually heard at the time of the recording but show up during playback.
The first man who tried taping the spirit world was American photographer Atilla von Szalay. His first experiments were done using a 78 rpm record in 1941 but he had little luck with them.
Szalay registered his first ‘success’ in 1956, when he began using tape recorders. Among the first messages he got were “Hot dog, Art!”, “This is G!” and “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!”
Over the years, many people have tried communicating with the dead through EVP and some even claimed to have built devices specifically designed to do so. Among the most famous were William O’Neil’s Spiricom and Frank Sumption’s Ghost Box.

Houdini’s Secret Code

Houdini took great pleasure in exposing mediums as frauds. His animosity towards mediums had come from the unpleasant experience he had as he attempted to contact his deceased mother, Cecilia, with the help of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s wife.
She and other clairvoyants had supplied Houdini with messages they claimed came from his mother.
Houdini noticed the messages were far too inconsistent to have come from Cecilia. For starters, the messages were in English although his mother never spoke English.
Psychics also made mentions of crosses although his mother was Jewish. This led Houdini to believe that the séances he had attended were nothing but shows put up by charlatans. He still considered the possibility of an afterlife waged war to those who wrongfully claimed to present evidence.
In order to prevent mediums from claiming to have contacted him after his death, Houdini established a secret code that only he and his wife knew. The code consisted of ten random words picked up from a letter he had received from Doyle.
After his death, Houdini’s wife held séances on Halloween for ten consecutive years. He never showed up.

The God Helmet

Inventor Stanley Koren and neuroscientist Michael Persinger teamed up to create the God Helmet. The device consists of several coils attached to a snowmobile helmet.
According to Persinger, the coils generate fluctuating magnetic fields that lead to experiencing “mystical experiences and altered states.” The fields generated by the God Helmet aren’t as strong as those used in transcranial magnetic stimulation; they’re about as strong as those generated by an ordinary hair dryer.
People who participated in Persinger’s experiment reported sensing presences, such as angels or deceased relatives and one participant even claimed to have perceived God.
His account was all that the press needed to call Persinger’s device the God Helmet. Persinger himself maintained that four out of five people who put on the helmet felt some kind of presence or sentient being.
In 2004, a team of Swedish researchers attempted to replicate the experiment under controlled conditions but had no success. They concluded the results of Persinger’s experiment had been skewed by the participants’ own susceptibility and found no connection between the weak magnetic fields generated by the helmet and altered states of perception.
Undeterred, Persinger and his team developed another device called The Octopus. It’s an alleged mood enhancer and altered state generator.
A team of researchers tested it and found out it had the same effect(none) whether it was turned on or off. However, “additional investigations… are warranted,” as they concluded.


This controversial documentary was made in 1983 by Australian psychologist Peter Ramster and focused on past life regression through hypnosis.
His experiments uncovered some interesting details. One of his patients Cynthia Henderson recalled the past life she had led during the French Revolution. Under hypnosis, she fluently spoke French and remembered places that no longer existed.
The places she remembered were featured in old maps and documents that she had no access to prior to the experiment.
Another patient Gwen MacDonald, was a staunch skeptic before her regression. She remembered life in Somerset between 1765-82. Many facts about her life in Somerset which would be impossible to get out of a book were confirmed in front of witnesses when she was taken there:
– when taken blindfolded to the area in Somerset she knew her way around perfectly although she had never been out of Australia
– she knew the location of a waterfall and the place where stepping stones had been. The locals confirmed that the stepping stones had been removed about 40 years before
– she pointed out an intersection where she claimed that there had been five houses. Enquiries proved that this was correct and that the houses had been torn down 30 years before and that one of the houses had been a ‘cider house’ as she claimed
– she knew correctly names of villages as they were 200 years ago even though on modern maps they do not exist or their names have been changed
– she was able to correctly describe the way a group of Druids filed up Glastonbury Hill in a spiral for their spring ritual, a fact unknown to most university historians.
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The Dark and Mysterious History of Yosemite’s Tenaya Canyon




Tenaya Canyon is a trail-less and treacherous part of Yosemite
National Park that runs from Tenaya Lake down to Yosemite Valley. It is
known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite” because of the many
accidents, injuries and deaths that have occurred there over the years.

people even believe that the canyon is cursed by the spirits of the
original inhabitants of Yosemite, who were violently displaced by the
Mariposa Indian War in the 1850s.

The canyon is a challenging and
risky route for adventurous hikers and climbers, who have to navigate
smooth granite slabs, steep rappels, mandatory swims and precarious
ledges. The canyon also offers stunning views of waterfalls, swimming
holes and rock formations.

However, the park officials warn that
“a trip into the unforgiving terrain of Tenaya Canyon…should not be
taken lightly.” There is a sign at the entrance of the canyon that

of the most famous incidents in Tenaya Canyon happened in 1918, when
John Muir, the “Father of the National Parks,” fell and was knocked
unconscious while exploring the canyon.

He later wrote: “I was
suddenly brought to a standstill by a blow on the head that confused my
senses for a moment or two without wholly stunning me.” He managed to
recover and continue his journey, but he never returned to the canyon.

Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA

“Tenaya Canyon is one of those places where you can feel history all
around you,” said Scott Gediman, a park ranger at Yosemite National
Park. “It’s a very powerful place.”

Another notable explorer of
Tenaya Canyon was Ron Kauk, a legendary climber who lived in Yosemite
for decades and scaled some of its most challenging walls.

He camped on the side of a rock face in Tenaya Canyon and felt a mysterious force pulling on his sleeping bag.

He told SFGATE:
“It was like something that came around in a teasing kind of way or
something. It wasn’t anything too dramatic, no lights flashing around or
flying by you. Just to acknowledge that there was something else

He speculated that the canyon might be “the holding place for the original spirit of the place and the people (of Yosemite).”

Canyon is named after Chief Tenaya, the leader of the Ahwahneechee
tribe that lived in Yosemite Valley before they were driven out by the
Mariposa Battalion, a group of armed volunteers sent by California’s
governor to subdue the Native Americans in the area.

battalion captured Chief Tenaya and his people and forced them to
relocate to a reservation near Fresno. However, some of them escaped and
returned to Yosemite Valley, where they were attacked again by the

Chief Tenaya’s son was killed in the battle, and he
reportedly cursed his enemies and his homeland before fleeing into
Tenaya Canyon. He was later killed by a rival tribe near Mono Lake.

historians and locals believe that Chief Tenaya’s curse still lingers
in Tenaya Canyon, causing misfortune and tragedy for those who enter it.
Others think that the canyon is simply a dangerous place that requires
caution and respect.

Tenaya Canyon has had more than 110 people
killed there and many more injured. It is known to the Park Service as
the Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite.

of people go missing at national parks across the United States every
year. Some of these disappearances are never solved. Yosemite National
Park holds the notorious position as the national park with the third
most missing persons per year (233).

Either way, Tenaya Canyon
remains one of Yosemite’s most fascinating and mysterious places, where
nature’s beauty and history’s brutality collide.

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Vatican investigates potential miracle at Connecticut church




The Catholic Church is reportedly investigating a potential miracle that occurred at a church in Connecticut, reports

The supposed miracle took place at St Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant.

Revered Joseph Crowley, who heads St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, which
includes St Thomas Church, reported that the wafers distributed during
the observation of communion multiplied while sitting inside the

“God duplicated himself in the ciborium,” Rev Crowley
said after communion, referencing the metal storage containers used to
house the communion wafers. “God provides and it’s strange how God does
that. And that happened.”

response, the Archdiocese of Hartford began an investigation to
determine whether or not a miracle had occurred at the church.

then, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, a group dating
back to the 1500’s tasked with promoting and defending the Catholic
faith throughout the world, has been notified and has begun its own

A spokesman for the archdiocese, David Elliott,
issued a statement to the Hartford Courant saying that “reports such as
the alleged miracle in Thomaston require referral to the Dicastery for
the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The Archdiocese has proceeded
accordingly, and will await a response in due time.”

Miracles are
an important part of the process of becoming a saint within the Catholic
Church. Sainthood considerations typically begin five years after the
death of an exceptional Catholic.

number of criteria must be met, including “verified miracles” — Vatican
officials must determine that the miracles are a direct result of an
individual praying to the candidate saint. They must come to the
decision that the miracle was a result of the dead potential saint
interceding between the petitioner and God, causing the miracle.

Catholic Church defines a miracle as a “sign of wonder such as a
healing, or control of nature, which can only be attributed to divine

While duplicating thin bread wafers may seem like a minor
use of divine power to those unfamiliar with Catholic theology, the
Eucharist — often called communion or the lord’s supper — is arguably
the holiest and most important sacrament — or ritual — in the faith.

typically believe in the idea of transubstantiation, or the idea that
the bread and wine given during the ritual literally become the body and
blood of Jesus Christ upon consecration, as opposed to simply symbols
of his presence.

O’Neil, who goes by the moniker Miracle Hunter, authored a book called
Science and the Miraculous: How the Church Investigates the
Supernatural, spoke to the Hartford Courant and gave examples of
previous eucharistic miracles.

“There are various types of
eucharistic miracles, but the ones that are most remarkable, in my
opinion, were on some rare occasions, the host is said to bleed human
blood,” he said.

Reverend Michael McGivney, the founder of the
Knights of Columbus, ended his clerical career at St Thomas, where the
alleged communion miracle took place. He has been in consideration for
sainthood and requires one more verified miracle before he moves on to
final consideration for sainthood within the Catholic Church.

Leonard Blair explained to the Hartford Courant that “what has been
reported to have occurred at our parish church in Thomaston, of which
Blessed Michael McGivney was once pastor, if verified, would constitute a
sign or wonder that can only be attributed to divine power to
strengthen our faith in the daily miracle of the Most Holy Eucharist.

would also be a source of blessing from Heaven for the effort that the
US Bishops are making to renew and deepen the faith and practice of our
Catholic people with regard to this great Sacrament.”

“Blessed” is a title given to saint candidates who have had “verified” miracles attributed to them by the Vatican.

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