superstition

Six Ghost Stories

Human superstition provides us with an overwhelming wealth of ghost stories, each an unreal creation that reveals something crucial about culture, history and psychology. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian explore six ghost stories from around the world and discuss what they reveal about the (living) human experience.

Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

As we celebrate Chinese New Year and enter the year of the fire rooster, join Robert and Joe for an encore Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration of the Chinese zodiac and some interesting studies related to its impact on birth rates, economics and individual destiny. As always, you can take astrology with a grain of salt, but the impact on human behavior and culture is undeniable.

Will-o'-the-Wisp: A Light in the Swamp

There was a time when strange lights appeared in the marshlands. Commoners might have known the eerie luminescence as “Will-o’-the-Wisp” or “Hinky Punk,” while the learned pondered the mysteries of “Ignis Fatuus.” Superstitions aside, what natural phenomenon was at work here, before accounts of false fires in the night largely vanished from history? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe search for answers.

Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

As we celebrate Chinese New Year and enter the year of the fire monkey, join Robert and Joe for a Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration of the Chinese zodiac and some interesting studies related to its impact on birth rates, economics and individual destiny. As always, you can take astrology with a grain of salt, but the impact on human behavior and culture is undeniable.

Scientifically Sound Weather Superstitions

At one time in human history superstitions were the guiding force in a person's life -- rules of thumb to live by. Find out which pieces of lore and superstition are actually spot-on and why in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

This was a big week for aficionados of vampirism and medieval corpse defilement, as archaeologists in Venice discovered the bones of a suspected vampire in a 16th century mass grave for plague victims. No, fangs weren't the giveaway -- it was actually the huge brick shoved into its mouth. The archaeologists suspect that the brick was inserted as a kind of exorcism for the corpse. Medieval Europe wasn't exactly a hotbed of medical science, and human decomposition was poorly understood. Superstition ran rampant. What might a denizen of such a demon-haunted world think upon discovering that a corpse had bloated, chewed through its grave shroud and dribbled bloody purge fluid down its chin? Exactly. You plug the corpse with a brick and move on. At the time, a little local panic was enough to see an entire graveyard exhumed in the hunt for bloodsuckers.