7 Places On Earth That Will Give You Shivers

Now that Halloween has passed, it’s safe to tell you about 7 places on earth that will give you shivers since, you know, going there ON Halloween would have been truly asking for it. However, as these real-life locations are spooky at any time of the year, do try not to let your guard down, do silly irresponsible stuff and/or start getting naked while there.

Oh, and do not, under any circumstance, listen to the guy or gal with the bright idea of “Hey, let’s split up!”. You’ve been warned!

1. Cyprus, Varosha

7 places on earth that will give you shivers - Varosha

This coastal town in Cyprus is just PERFECT for a holiday! That is, if you’re a big fan of the Fallout game series or any other post-apocalyptic themed work. Because it was completely abandoned when the Turkish invasion began on the 20th of July 1974.

2. New York, Willard Asylum

Willard Asylum is one of the 7 places on earth that will give you shivers

As the name says, the place was an asylum for the chronically insane, but is now abandoned, but many of its fixtures, furniture and equipment remain. As well as the statistical fact that around 50% of the 50,000 patients it had in total during its existence died here, never to return to their homes and family. So if you believe in tragic spirits still haunting the earth, this place has a pretty high chance of housing them.

3. Mexico, La Isla de la Munecas

The list of 7 places on earth that will give you shivers includes The Island of Dolls.

Or the Island of the Dead Dolls, in Mexico, just south of Mexico City is possibly one of the creepiest places on Earth, both because of the visuals and of the story behind them. You see, Don Julian Santana Barrera, the care-taker of the island, according to the legend, was not able to save a little girl from drowning due to mysterious circumstances.

So he tied her doll, that he found floating nearby in the water to a tree, in her memory. Then, he kept tying other dolls around for the rest of his life until his death by apparent suicide in 2001, in allegedly, the same spot that the girl drowned in.

Now the stories go that the dolls are possessed by spirits, they move and even whisper to each other.

4. Turkmenistan, The Door To Hell

7 places on earth that will give you shivers - The Door To Hell

If you’re more Hell, fire and brimstone inclined in your fascination for creepy places, try Turkmenistan and it’s so-called Door To Hell. The name is apt to describe the impressive fire that has been burning constantly for the past 40 years in a pit that was once a gas field, that the Soviets set on fire.

So, yeah, you won’t get to see real demons, unfortunately(?).

5. Japan, Aokigahara Forest

One of the 7 places on earth that will give you shivers is the Aokigahara Forest.

Also referred to as the Suicide Forest. For good reason. Because is the place were enough suicides have happened over the years that it now has a reputation as the place to go in Japan if you’re planning to take this final, sad decision.

This is, sadly, not an exaggeration. As one of the park rangers’ regular activities is to go and see how many¬†bodies they have to collect and bring back to other authorities.

6. Belgium, Chateau Miranda

The list of 7 places on earth that will give you shivers includes the Chateau Miranda.

In Celles, in Belgium, there is this castle whose history boasts both having been a place where the French aristocrats fled from the Revolution as well as an orphanage after World War II. Once abandoned in 1980, the owners refused to allow the authorities to maintain it, so it has been since, slowly, deteriorating into the perfect spooky castle.

7. China, Shicheng City

7 places on earth that will give you shivers - Shicheng City

Nicknamed The Lion City, and founded about 1300 years ago, this city was an important cultural and trade center of the region in the past. But modern demands were deemed more important and it was purposely flooded by the government in 1959 so that a hydro power plant could be built.

Ever since, it’s impressive (and creepy) old buildings have been watching under the water, a sight for anyone brave enough to put on a diver suit and go visit.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.


5 Times Celebrities Nailed Their Halloween Costume

When you’re a famous entertainment industry celebrity it gets even harder to impress people with your Halloween costume, because they expect you to be out of this world on a day to day basis. I mean, hey, sometimes they dress-up as you!

So when a celebrity does decide to show-up costumed for Halloween, the pressure is¬†higher and the task at hand more arduous than when Hercules fought the mythical Hydra. Because his Hydra didn’t have millions of heads as the figurative hydra of fans has.

Everything must be perfect to the tiniest detail, both regarding the clothing items that make up the costume itself and the attitude of the wearer, who must project the vibe of whatever he/she costumed as. The fact that we’re talking about actors and singers who are used to the stage and shifting their image, does help, granted.

But the fact remains that it’s no easy task to have your every action, including a fun fooling around on a special night like Halloween, scrutinized by countless avid eyes.

Which makes the 5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume rightfully impressive. And I do mean nailed it! Credit where credit is due.

1. Ed Sheeran – Austin Powers

5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume - Ed Sheeran

They’re both British. But that’s about all they have in common. To go from acclaimed pop-folk singer (Sheeran) to woman-crazed, overly-confident despite being ridiculous, time displaced hippie spy is surely no easy task. Especially when Austin Powers practically defines the term flamboyant even when not moving a muscle. But Ed pulled it off in 2014, before a show. Yes, he proceeded to play in costume.

2. Beyonce Knowles – Storm

Beyonce Knowles made one of the 5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume happen.

Another popular singer, this time the transformation was towards a super-heroine, the equally popular Storm from X-men. Come to think about it, as the super-heroine of many young African-American girls and a positive storm whenever she goes on stage, it kinda fits as a metaphor. Anyway, on October 25 this year, at Ciara’s birthday party, which was Halloween themed in anticipation of the holiday, Beyonce struck everyone into amazement. With lightning that is, as Storm.

3. Guy Ritchie & Son – Heisenberg & Jesse Pinkman

The list of 5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume includes Guy Ritchie and son.

While people would have expected (and probably dissed) film director Guy Ritchie to break some people’s will and/or bodies as a charismatic English mobster like those in the famous “Lock, stock and two smoking barrels” movie shot under his guidance, not many expected him to break out even badder and pull off such a good impersonation of “Breaking Bad”‘s protagonist Heisenberg and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman in 2014 at¬†the¬†UNICEF UK Halloween Ball, London. And with his son as Jesse, no less. His cool, casual appreciation of his colleagues’ work, the directors of the series, is also worth noting in an industry sometimes marked by petty feuds.¬†

4. Iggy Azalea РCruella De Vil

5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume - Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea cruel? Hard to say without actually hanging out with her. But she doesn’t seem like the Dalmatian torturing kind. Or a hag with a veneer of civilization. Which is why her appearance as one of Disney’s most popular villain’s (and several generations of dog loving children’s bitter nemesis) was eye-catching at Vevo’s Halloween party in 2013. She sure looks the part. Including bringing her own Dalmation along. We can only hope that looks were all there was to it and it wasn’t the last night the poor creature was seen.

5.  Rihanna РRaphael

The list of 5 times celebrities nailed their Halloween costume includes Rihanna

If you think there’s an incongruity in Hawaiian born rebel Rihanna going Galapagos turtle, think again. Galapagos turtle that is. As in, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (assuming they were Galapagos turtles to begin with, which seems to be the case), to be more exact. Which Rihanna did when she showed up as Raphael, one of the four famous Ninja Turtles. And to explain why there’s no incompatibility between Rihanna and Raphael, a quote from Wikipedia describing the latter: “The team’s bad boy, Raphael wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai. He is physically very strong, has an aggressive nature, and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is often depicted with a¬†New York¬†accent. His personality can be fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan¬†humor. He is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei.” Yup, sounds legit.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Extraordinary Claims By L Ron Hubbard

There are more extraordinary claims by L Ron Hubbard than just Scientology.

Scientology is a movement founded in 1953 by L Ron Hubbard, an American science-fiction author. Although its status is defined differently in countries across the world, from tax-exempt religion in the US, to cult in France (where L Ron Hubbard was even tried for fraud and convicted in absentia), to “anti-constitutional sect” in Germany, it is clearly a movement with a religious nature, whose members rigorously follow a body of beliefs, tenets and practices.

These mainly revolve around the central concept that human beings are actually immortal, but have forgotten their true nature. Also part of the core beliefs are the story of the Galactic Dictator Xenu and the conviction that psychiatry is very bad for people and should be eliminated from human society and forbidden due to its destructive and abusive nature.

Hubbard Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements, due to the above mentioned core concepts and the many outstanding claims that derive from them (the souls of aliens, citizens of Xenu’s Galactic Confederation executed by him, with the consultation of psychiatrists, 75 million years ago here on Earth, then called Teegeeack, are trapped here and are called Thetans; there’s a malicious R6 implant in these souls, which prevents humans from achieving their higher state; this implant harms people if they try to bypass it or eliminate it etc. ).

The extraordinary claims by L Ron Hubbard include Dianetics.

It’s worth noting that Scientology came into existence because L R Hubbard had lost the rights to Dianetics which was his initial foray into human metaphysics, spirituality, psychology and health and was considered pseudo-science by his scientist peers at the time and refused for publication by all the journals he applied to. So in short, L Ron Hubbard Dianetics became the L Ron Hubbard Scientology doctrine which led to the establishment of the Church of Scientology which still exists today, despite the death of Ron L Hubbard in 1986 and the many controversies, scandals and negative opinions surrounding the movement/church.

But these are not the only controversies. Because the founder himself made some pretty audacious statements during the course of his life which are not supported by evidence or are outright contradicted by what evidence exists. So, here’s some extraordinary claims by L Ron Hubbard.

He claimed to be a nuclear physicist (and a doctor, among other things). And wrote a book titled “L Ron Hubbard – All about radiation”. In fact, not only did he never get a degree in physics, he was also a college drop-out. And a scientific inquiry into his book by a board of respected scientists, including an expert radiologist reached the following conclusion that it’s: ” the¬†sort of knowledge that perhaps a boy who has read Intermediate Physics might, with a lot of misapprehensions and lack of understanding, demonstrate”.

Extraordinary claims by L Ron Hubbard - All About Radiation

One of the more shocking contradictions between his declarations and deeds was his rapport with drugs. Because the spiritual leader, public persona side of him advocated a completely clean drug-free lifestyle (including psychiatric drugs), which is even an important tenet of the Church of Scientology. However, close witness accounts paint a totally different picture, with L Ron Hubbard as a severe drug addict who took a variety of illicit addictive substances, the most important of these accounts being that of L Ron Jr.: “I have personal knowledge that my father regularly used illegal drugs including amphetamines, barbiturates and hallucinogens. He regularly used cocaine, peyote and mescaline.” As one of the 7¬†L Ron Hubbard children of whom some have later turned into opponents of Scientology and their father or become estranged, his account garners considerable credibility.

Then there is his claim that he was made a blood brother of the Blackfoot American-Indian tribe of Montana at the age of … four. If this was not incredible enough, by the sheer fact that at that age most societies tend to consider children as without having developed the ability to reason, let alone be wise, it becomes even more incredible when confronted by the fact that, as Wikipedia points out (citing confirmed sources): “The tribe did not practice blood brotherhood and no evidence has been found that he had ever been a Blackfeet blood brother”.

The list of extraordinary claims by L Ron Hubbard includes him being a war hero.

And apparently claiming to be a very spiritual person didn’t contradict, in L Ron Hubbard logic, with being a war hero, which is what he also claimed, to the point of presenting himself so:¬†“Blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries to hip and back, at the end of World War II, I faced an almost non-existent future. My service record states: ‘This officer has no neurotic or psychotic tendencies of any kind whatsoever,’ but it also states ‘permanently disabled physically.’ ” But rest assured, it’s a happy ending story. Because he: “became used to being told it was all impossible, that there was no way, no hope. Yet I came to see again and walk again.”

Come to think of it, it does tie in nicely with the whole spiritual thing. Being able to use just your will to heal yourself from “permanent disability” like blindness or paralysis sounds like a major spiritual feat, maybe a miracle. Too bad this story isn’t true either, because there are Veteran Administration hospital documents which contradict¬†it.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4.

6 Rastafarian Beliefs To Consider

You probably thought that Rastafarianism is sort of a musical style defined lifestyle, best embodied by Bob Marley and other Reggae artists, right? Well, actually Rastafarianism is an interesting phenomenon originating in Jamaica. Note the choice of the word “phenomenon”, instead of choosing to use “the Rastafarian religion”, “sect” or “movement”, despite the fact that these terms very much apply.

Because, as a first¬†example of Rastafarian peculiarity, adherents (known as Rastafarians, Rastafari, Rastas or simply Ras), abhor the idea of division between people (which they think is fundamental to the oppressive Western culture) and greatly dislike such thinking in “isms”. So¬†they are themselves irritated by being called adherents to an “ism”, and prefer to have people consider their beliefs and organization a way of life or philosophy that is open to all.

But there are more intriguing things you might not know about them, so here’s¬†6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider from a philosophical and sociological view-point if you’re interested in such subjects.

1. Jah Rastafari

6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider include Jah Rastafari.

In order to define Rastafarian beliefs better, one must first take a look at their origin.  Which is probably far more recent then you would expect, in the 19th century. To be more precise, the main ideas of their way of life are borrowed from Marcus Garvey, a proponent of (among other things) Pan-Africanism, who also prophesied in the early 1900s that the messiah would be a new black king.

Enter the coronation of¬†Haile Selassie I (born Tafari Makonnen) in Ethiopia in 1930, and you now know how the Rastafarian beliefs crystallized and¬†started adding more and more adepts. In other words, in case it wasn’t clear, they consider Haile Selassie I to have been the Second Coming of Christ, God Incarnate (again). Which is what explains the Ras Tafari or Jah Rastafari titles which you might hear among them. Ras means chief or prince, so the first title is approximately “Chief Tafari”, by adding Haile Selassie I’s real first name. And Jah is a short form of Jahweh (or God), so Jah Rastafari would verbatum¬†be “God Chief Tafari”, marking him as the incarnation of God.

2. Grounation Day

Grounation Day is one of the 6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider

This core concept of Selassie I as Messiah is why, when he finally visited Jamaica on 21st of April 1966, ~100,000 Rastafarians came to greet him and effectively blocked the plane on the tarmac after it landed, making it hard for Haile Selassie I to disembark. Peaceful and courteous “negotiations” took place between the Rastafari leader, Ras Mortimer Planno and Jamaican authorities interested in guaranteeing security for Haile Selassie I, which resulted in Planno coming out of the plane saying: “The Emperor has instructed me to tell you to be calm. Step back and let the Emperor land”, which finally allowed Selassie I to disembark.

The visit is now considered the second most important moment for Rastafari (after Haile Selassie I’s Coronation Day) and is celebrated each 21st of April under the name “Grounation Day”, due to Selassie’s refusal to walk on the red carpet on the way to his limousine which in the Rastafarian beliefs system symbolizes “making contact with the soil”. “Grounation” is the lyaric equivalent of “foundation” with the word “ground” used instead of “found…” for the afore-mentioned reason.

3. Longing for Zion

The list of 6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider includes a return to Africa.

No, it’s not about the Jewish Zion and the Temple of Solomon. Within the Rastafarian beliefs, Zion stands for a paradise lost by their ancestors,¬†that they would return to. But this paradise isn’t necessarily in the¬†after-life. On the contrary, it is right here on earth. In Ethiopia, to be more exact. Which they believe is the original birthplace of humanity. And the longing for Zion doesn’t necessary have to manifest itself in a physical relocation to Africa and Ethiopia (although that is the stated desire of many Rastafarians). It also means keeping African traditions and culture alive by your actions wherever you are, efforts to which the Rastafarians beliefs system is supposed to be a guide.

4. Temple cleaning

Keeping your body healthy is one of the 6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider.

The Rastafarian beliefs include, like many other religions, that your body is your temple and you should take care of it as much as possible. As such, a Rastafarian will not cut his/her hair or put anything unnatural on/in it, will not make tattoos on his/her skin and will take great care to eat good food.

Speaking of which, the Rastafarian diet is called “Ital” (whose linguistic origin derives from “vital”). The main idea is to eat natural foods and staunchly refuse the processed kind (which they feel are a big component of the oppressive Western system and want nothing to do with that). Also, red meat is considered bad, as it rots within your body. Worth mentioning however, that this Rastafarian diet is not universal among practitioners and variations exist apart from these two fundamental rules.

5. Colors and meaning

6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider - Rastafarian colors

The Rasta colors (or what you thought were the “Bob Marley colors” or “reggae colors”) are actually part of the Rastafarian beliefs system, as they symbolize some things to remember and are also a hint to their history. Because the colors of Marcus Garvey’s own movement were red, green and black and the colors of the Ethiopian flag are red, green and yellow. So Rastafarians take all four (red, green, yellow and black) as their colors.

Their sybolism? Red is the blood of martyrs’ sacrifice, gold is the wealth of their ancestral land, green is for the many¬†plants¬†of their homeland and black is for all the black people everywhere to find their roots.

6. Lyaric

6 Rastafarian beliefs to consider - we are all one.

Rastas have their own dialect called Lyaric which also bears the signs of their philosophy and thinking, despite being a derivate of Jamaican Creole, which is itself derived from English by the African slaves who were first brought to Jamaica.

A poignant example of Rastafarian beliefs influencing even their speech: remember how they dislike divisiveness and believe in the connection of all people? Well, in Lyaric the pronoun “you” (which in their view separates one from another) is replaced by “I and I”. The same goes for “me, us, them, they and theirs”. As for the third person “he” or “she”, they are also eliminated and “that I” is used or the indirect “that man”, “that woman”, “the man”, “the woman”.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

A Non-Traditional Wedding

A couple who opted for a non-traditional wedding in the woods.

Thinking about tying the knot? How ’bout you make that knot as tough and impressive as the Gordian one of legend, by choosing a unique wedding¬†that will surely bring you and your better-half closer together by virtue of the awesome memories you’ll have of the event.

And I do mean awesome in the true sense that the word had before everybody started using it so much it now has less of an impact than that¬†embarrassing relative hitting on¬†the bridesmaids, which in all honesty has no impact whatsoever,¬†since¬†you all expected it to happen when you planned your “traditional” wedding.

That’s probably what many couples have started thinking lately since you can hear of relatively more cases of them wanting to do something different and shy away from the tried and true path of logistical, financial and not to mention psychological hell that a traditional wedding almost invariably tends to involve.¬†Seeing how it’s designed to make everybody happy except the bride and groom.

Plus, as Herbert Swope said: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everybody.” And, as an editor and journalist at the New York World paper, he should know since he’s heard a few things, right?

Not having to please everyone is the main point behind a non-traditional wedding.

So, how about you at least take into consideration a non-traditional wedding, see if it would be more to your liking and then start thinking if maybe your family, friends and relatives might not be interested to go along for the ride as well?

The changes you can make for your wedding as opposed to a traditional one can range from small ones like what to put (or NOT to put) on the table, to the wedding vows, to the location (as mentioned earlier), to having a minimalist to the extreme wedding (read groom and bride) if that’s what makes you happy. Sky’s the limit and you are the bosses.

An example of a relatively small¬†change? As a woman, you’re a Trekkie in real-life but not that die hard as to “upset” people on this most important day? Nonsense. It’s YOUR most important day. So if you wanna dress up like a Vulcan on your wedding day (complete with ears), and shun the traditional white dress, go for it.

In Not having to please everyone is the main point behind a non-traditional wedding you can do whatever you want.

Are you two love-birds also endowed with a great sense of humor and believe it to be one of the most important things in the world? Great. Write your wedding vows accordingly and skip the sweet non-provocative versions that usually come up. Spice things up to your taste.

Do you feel like you just want a more intimate, less hectic wedding because you’re both sort of reclusive people? Why put yourselves through the ordeal of socializing with a group of people consisting of 80% acquaintances and relatives you’ve seen once before in your lives and the other 20% (max!) family and friends.

Why not choose to have the wedding with just the family and friends. Or just one of these groups if the other bothered you in some way (although, granted it would have to be a serious boo boo made by a friend or a close family member to warrant you not wanting to spend time with them).

You and your partner are the most important thing in Not having to please everyone is the main point behind a non-traditional wedding.

Or, in the extreme, if you feel like you don’t want absolutely anyone around you on that day, go have a wedding revolving around just the two of you. As your whole life will anyway. And as a couple did when they decided completely on a whim to just go exploring isolated Iceland until they’d find the right spot to get married which they would know when they saw. They went all over the place, taking their time and visiting, until they found a ruined church that was the only thing left (partially) standing after a lava flow from a past eruption. That was it. Perfect for them. So they exchanged rings, said their vows and married there. All alone.

Because that’s what THEY wanted and only they will live and see if it was the right or wrong choice. What’s certain is that it sure was unique and special not only to those who heard about it, but most importantly… to them.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4.