The continued tragedy we ignore in Centralia.

Pennsylvania is home to many beautiful sites. Did you know that it’s also home to a deadly, underground coal fire? This coal fire has been burning for well over fifty years. Centralia, Pennsylvania is the location of much inspiration and trepidation. Tread carefully, even while reading this story.

Imagine it is over a century ago, Centralia is bustling small town of coal miners and the families that resided there. It is a town meant for success. This small town withstood the “Great Depression” and remained in tact. The population even swelled as it was, at one point, the place to live. You didn’t even have to be a coal miner. 

Centralia isn’t without it’s pitfalls, violence knows no limits. Coal miners in the area were known to be violent. The same can be said in any location. The real tragedy is when in 1962, they decided the only way to rid the town of their trash by burning it. Keep in mind this is not a legal practice. Knowing this, the city council at the time ignored this fact. 

May 1962, they decided to make it a “memorial day” festivity as they systematically burned it at the landfill. This fact is still hotly debated as the cause is still not 100% known.

“This might seem like irrelevant, small-town history except for one thing,” wrote David Dekok in Fire Underground, his history of the fire: “Centralia Council’s method for cleaning up a dump was to set it on fire.” Though competing theories exist about how the fire was sparked, it’s thought that the Centralia dump fire sparked a much larger mine fire beneath the town. — cited from below link with more information.

They should have taken into consideration the network of the mine below the city. Once the spark ignited the coals below, it was impossible to extinguish. The network beneath the town is vast. What was their solution? Firstly, they poured water down the network of tunnels in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. They chose to ignore this for over twenty years until a twelve year old boy was nearly swallowed into a huge sink hole that developed. 

Smoke rising from a large crack in PA Highway 61 caused by the underground coal fire, 2010. (Credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke from the fire below, swam to the surface. The temperature swelled to over 900 degrees. The town was overrun with carbon monoxide. This is not a same environment to reside, and this is dangerous to ignore. Their indiscretion was, unfortunately, too expensive and dangerous to fix. Sinkholes are still said to randomly develop in the area, to this day.

“By then, it was too late for Centralia. Rather than put out the fire, Congress decided to buy out its residents, paying them to move. Then, in 1992, Pennsylvania moved to kick the holdouts out for good. All of Centralia’s buildings were condemned; its ZIP code was eliminated. Seven residents remained via court order; they are forbidden from passing down their property or selling it.” — cited from below link with more information.

“And forget extinguishing the fire that has turned the town from a small mining center to a place infamous for its hidden blaze: As geologist Steve Jones told Smithsonian’s Kevin Krajick, “Putting it out is the impossible dream.””— cited from below link with more information.

In 1992 the town was condemned. No one should live or visit the area as it’s unclear how detrimental the experience would be. I’d say it’s far too dangerous, even for firefighters. There are thousands of coal fires underground as we speak, but this is said to have been started people. People like you and I, just trying to eliminate trash in a landfill without thinking about the consequences…

I find it incredibly unfortunate that many residence found this to be amusing. Even after 57 years, this coal fire is said to burn on for another century. The deadly gases and horrifying sink holes that still erupt with carbon monoxide will be apart of our reality. What are the consequences of this, even after almost 60 years? We are still trying to figure that out. 

“The Centralia fire now reaches as deep as 300 feet and covers some six square miles — that’s more than seven Disneyland’s. It’s advancing around 75 feet per year along four separate branches and could burn for another 250 years. All the residents of the town may be gone by then, but the coal that brought their ancestors to Pennsylvania in the first place will still be blazing.”

https://www.britannica.com/video/187023/coal-mine-fire-Pennsylvania-Centralia

https://www.history.com/news/mine-fire-burning-more-50-years-ghost-town

The Mystery of the Pineal Gland.

The mystery of the Pineal gland.

We will be diving into the mysterious and famous, pineal gland. What is it? Where is it? What in the world does it do? I will be going into detail about this tiny structure within the brain. First, what is it? It is a small gland, in the shape of a pinecone, in the center of the brain. It’s shape is where it’s name originated. Like many portions of the brain, it has a job to do. It’s main squeeze, melatonin, is it’s only product. What is melatonin? Not to be confused with melanin, which is associated with pigment, melatonin is what regulates circadian rhythm. Simply put, it helps you regulate daily rhythm such as sleep and being awake.

If I may stop for a moment and point out that the pineal gland actually does possess tissue that react to light, which is why it’s called the “third eye” and other animals have what’s known as a parietal eye. This is located in the center of the two existing eyes and is sensitive to light and dark. A parietal eye does not form images, however it has retina and lens, though crude. Though this formation is not visible when studying our pineal gland, it is more likely to be an analogous formation, similar to the tail which most do not possess, yet there is bones for it in the sacrum.

Melatonin is also known to regulate the reproductive hormones associated with arousal and proper function of reproductive organs. Outside of these facts, we know extraordinarily little about the strange little gland. A 2016 study may have linked it’s production of melatonin to be a safe guard in cardiovascular health, though it hasn’t been entirely proven.

What else can this strange gland do for humans? It’s possible that it may dictate risks for mood disorders, in that lower pineal gland volume may result in the increased chance of serious mood disorders such as schizophrenia. In addition to mood disorders, it may also indicate that the health of your pineal gland may increase or decrease chances of cellular damage and cancer. The culprit has been named. The name of the hormone that might be up to all this “protection” is Melatonin. Even being cited to inhibit tumors in cancer patients. Though promising, more research is still needed.

To dive further, one citation indicates that this tiny pinecone structure connects the endocrine system with the nervous system, in that it translates nerve signals into hormonal signals. Creating a nerves signal, into a hormonal signal to a set location in the body.

That can’t be all it does, right? Science is not entirely sure what else it is able to do. It is said, though not entirely proven, to secrete dimethyl tryptamine. If you don’t know what that is, then I will explain.

“DMT” or dimethyl tryptamine is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that is produced in most living creatures. It is postulated to be created in the pineal gland, but if that is the case, we cannot observe such a secretion. It is also said to be “the spirit molecule”, though this also has not been scientifically proven either. What is DMT and what does it do? As I mentioned, it is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound, that is associated with lucid dreams, and said to be excreted at time of death.

If I may for a moment. -Deep breath-. I would like to add that knowing this, I would have to say those who “died” and came back from their “out of body experience” may not have been what it appeared. I’m not disproving their experience, but if DMT is to be produced in our brains naturally at the time of death,(as is posited by science) it is easy for me to assume that it’s most likely due to DMT, and not a spiritual experience. I am not the only person who believes this to be true. What does DMT do to the body? It is a short lived but intense high with visual hallucinations. It is interesting that most who have an “out of body experience” say they are able to see what’s happening to their body without inhabiting it. Could it be that pesky third eye at work?

This essay has been extremely difficult to gather information and citations for, because this strange gland is so misunderstood. If you think about it, so is the brain itself. The entire structure is a machine that has been taken apart and researched, yet little is still known. The links below go into more detail about the known and unknowns of the pineal gland.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK550972/#:~:text=The%20main%20function%20of%20the,and%20secrete%20the%20hormone%20melatonin.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300084105_Pineal_Gland%27_Still_a_Bit_of_Mystery_An_Escort_Study

https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-pineal-gland

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-dmt

The Super Power of Living.

The Super Power of Living.

What are super powers? Are they real? Can anyone possess them? Let’s get into some facts. The links will be cited below if you’re interested in taking a look at them. Also, DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE LISTED ABILITIES AT HOME. SOME ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS AND CAN LEAD TO SEVERE INJURY, AND CAN BE FATAL. Dahlia Blake Productions exercises caution when listing these things as they are meant for entertainment and not to be replicated. Thank you.

Some of the phrases and comments are paraphrased from the cited articles below. Again, please do not attempt some of the listed abilities. Stick with your abilities. You’re amazing enough as you are, you don’t need to hurt yourself imitating others. That said, let’s begin.

Super human abilities are not just tricks that someone can show you at a party to impress you. These abilities aren’t even just for circus’s and performances. Some of these abilities have real consequences to those the below abilities effects. I will not be going into detail about those who are born without fingerprints, disease resistant, or unbreakable bones.

Let’s start off with “what are super powers”? This term can be defined three ways. Merriam-Webster defines “super power” as “1: excessive or superior power, 2:
a: 
an extremely powerful nation specifically one of a very few dominant states in an era when the world is divided politically into these states and their satellites

b: an international governing body able to enforce its will upon the most powerful states

c: an extremely powerful company, organization, etc.

3: a power or ability (such as the ability to become invisible or to fly) of the kind possessed by superheroes a superhuman power.”

We will be focusing on the “ability” in the above-mentioned quote. The “super power ability” is going to be defined as a seemingly super human ability to do what most people cannot.

One such ability, which is easily the most known, would be contortion. There are many people that contort their bodies into small places and even bend in seemingly unnatural positions. Though being flexible is fairly common, the ability to contort as those in a circus is rare. “Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.

People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn’t strong enough to hold them.” This is an impressive ability, but it’s not something you wish on anyone. Like any hero, there is a villain. The villain is the sufferers body as it slowly deteriorates over time. It’s no secret that we all deteriorate, but those with this syndrome tend to bruise easily, and their hearts have weak or thin aortic walls. This can be extremely dangerous. You can only be born with this condition, as it is inherited from parent to child.

How about an impressive power you can learn but most cannot master? Believe it or not, the use of both left and right hand, or ambidexterity, is the ability few can master. I myself can write with both hands, but my left side is designated for forging my mother’s signature and pretending to be a ghost trying to communicate. I digress. Ambidexterity, can be learned but “one out of every hundred people are naturally ambidextrous.” — cited from linked article below.

Here’s a fun one, how about the ability to withstand extreme temperatures? Wim Hof immersing himself in ice for 72 minutes, and climbing Mount Everest in boots and shorts is impressive. If that’s not super human, I don’t know what is.

One power I was unaware of in humans is echolocation. This is common in bats, whales, dolphins and even birds use this method of navigation, but humans can learn this ability. It’s more commonly found in those who are blind as they have lost their vision. Upon losing a sense, other senses heighten. This has been scientifically proven as mostly fact. It is a way to adapt and navigate one’s surroundings to survive. This makes you wonder what else our bodies can do.

Other senses that can be considered super human is taste and smell. I personally was born without enough receptors to register tastes such as bitter or salty, and cannot smell many sweet fragrances. However, there are many that can smell and taste so exquisitely they can tell how many flavors were used, or which flavors were added. Wine, coffee, olive oil, cheese, and chocolate tastings are the most common taste testing scenarios you can show off this ability, but if you’re sharp enough, there are many companies looking for those who can describe what they’re tasting in detail and get it correct. Yes, you can get paid well for your astute ability to taste and smell well.

Singing and playing instruments can be considered an ability. Both can be learned, but there have been those who were and are so talented, they never needed lessons to pick up an instrument or sing as though they were born with the ability. Some are born with the drive to be proficient. Fun fact, the ability to sing was once an indication for intelligence as majority of those who can sing well can understand and pick up languages more quickly and easier than those who do not. Which is interesting, I love learning languages. I might be bragging, but I’m nearly fluent in Spanish and have been in the process of learning German, Greek, Russian, and French. Not to mention the fact “66% of those who were proficient had better working memories than those who did not play an instrument.” — paraphrased from cited article below. Though you cannot necessarily be born with this ability, and even learning it can be difficult, some can master both.

Let’s dive into some more puzzling abilities that seem to confuse science. Slavisa Pajkic is known for being able to withstand electric shocks without ill effects. Taking a whooping 20,000 volts without damage in 1983. For reference, you can be seriously or fatally injured by only 50 volts. It is important to note that he is able to store the electricity and release it, as the article below states. How can he do such a thing? Known as the battery man, aptly named, Slavisa is an extraordinary person. Science has attempted to explain his strange ability by positing that “he doesn’t have sweat or salivary glands and electricity is able to pass through outer skin”, though they are not certain if that is the entire explanation. Like anything else on this list, do not attempt this one at home.

What about an obscure one like seeing sound as color? Synesthesia is common in artists and musicians alike. This is actually a neurological condition in which stimulation leads to another seemingly unrelated stimulation. Simply said, you hear a song and sense the sounds as a pattern or a color. It is equally as misunderstood and one of the lesser known abilities, Science still cannot fully explain why or how this happens. This ability is known for the enhance in other cognitive abilities such as creativity and memory. Paraphrased from cited article below. “It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of the population has a form of synesthesia and women are more likely to possess it than men.”

The idea of having a super power is not the same as a super hero. However, some super heroes have amazing abilities. I would like to posit for a moment that my favorite heroes were always those who did possess a crazy ability. There have been a few that were gifted, or rather cursed, with their abilities that piqued my interest. There are many beautiful people with amazing talents. Some people are able to sing and dance, some can build from scratch using crude materials to make them pieces of art.

If I were to assume for a moment that I had an ability, besides the compulsion to write and research weird topics, I would say the ability to listen to my “gut”. The idea was brought to the attention by Friedrich S. Merkel in 1880. — sensory systems are composed of epithelial cells and sensory nerves, which together transform environmental cues into neural signals that trigger our rich sensory experiences (1). We now know that this hypothesis mostly holds true for the canonical senses of vision, hearing, taste, and touch. Perhaps surprisingly, the peripheral outposts of these classical sensory systems (eyes, ears, tongue, and skin) are dwarfed by the human body’s largest sensory organ — the gut. Enteroendocrine cells, which are rare epithelial cells that decorate the gut lining, have long been suspected to be sensory receptor cells that inform the brain about ingested nutrients (2). Since their description, these cells were assumed to play a role in metabolism and gut physiology by releasing slow-acting peptide hormones that stimulate neurons throughout the gut and in the brain.”-

This has nothing to do with hunger. This is more of a primal response in which we sense something is not quite right. You don’t realize it, but the eyes and brain pick up more information than we can possibly do with. Hence why sleep has been such an important part of human routines. This is a way of the brain to process and even remove unwanted information, as well as removing toxins from the brain. I don’t necessarily believe in vibes, but I will say that I can judge someone pretty well upon meeting them. By this, I mean, that behavior by observation can tell you a lot about a person. The example is that the “first impression is always important” may have been correct. In studying psychology, there was an emphasis on noticing nonverbal cues and ticks. Can you tell I was studying to be a psychologist? I was fortunate enough to have a mentor at the time, and he taught me a lot about this.

I would go as far to say that understanding is a super power. That’s just me. What other examples can I include? Well, for one, there are many. Almost too many to list in this essay. I venture to say every day existence is a super power at this point. Waking up and getting out of bed. Someone who works two jobs while being a full-time mother, that’s impressive to me. I’m sure it’s impressive to most people.

In conclusion to this essay, I would say that super powers are largely subjective. I can, for example, see farther than you can, and this can be considered a super power, to you. Learning a skill quickly, can be considered a super power. I would posit, again, that these are abilities that are brought on genetically. I would assume, based on my studies, majority are brought on by mutations in the cells over time, then passed down to the next generation. If I may insert a statistic, you were a one in 400 trillion chance and you won the lottery of living. Being you is a super power. Congratulations, we’re all super human in our own right.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20362125

https://www.aimm.edu/blog/is-musical-talent-innate-or-acquired

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/synesthesia

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6408/1203

The meaning we search for…

If you’re anything like me, you’re searching for a meaning in life. Without getting political or religious, what is the meaning of life? Why are we here? I’m still searching for this answer. I have posed this question before and the answers are all different. Some might say the meaning of life is “to find love”, “make money”, “be famous”, and a myriad of other reasons that inspire someone to keep going. There seems to be a theme developing in my opinion.

Upon analyzing these answers, I realized the theme is based in stability. Think about it, everyone wants love. I can’t think of one person that doesn’t want love in one way or another. What about love is appealing? Having someone to grow old with, or someone you can lean on emotionally when you’re feeling insecure. What else comes with the kind of love we all yearn for? Stability.

How about money? Very few people actually want to become filthily wealthy, but we want to cover our amenities. Money will usually hold hands with working, which is another thing that we would hope is stable.

How can we tell stability is a motivator for people? You can see it in our media. You can see it in our behavior. Try to change a detail in a television show that’s been on air for a decade. Try to disrupt the schedule of an elderly couple. You will get backlash like no other.

Let’s look over some theories, there’s a plethora of them, that could be viable and you’ll see what I mean. The link cited at the bottom goes into more detail about semantics, such as “the meaning of meaning”, and who is asking the question. I intend on giving you some insights to ponder. I’m not swaying your decisions in any way, I merely want you to think. I ponder the meaning of life often. The significance of my existence is one I grow weary of pondering.

When the topic of the meaning of life comes up, people often pose one of two questions: “So, what is the meaning of life?” and “What are you talking about?” — Quoted from the weblink below.

Besides achievements to be made that make “life meaningful”, there are also moral standards that tend to be brought up. One such example is to be kind and treat others with respect, or to be morally upstanding. “Moral”, it is a subjective ambiguity we overlook on a regular basis. The problem with morals, is we all have different standards. My moral could be, let’s say, I don’t believe in a relationship that involves more than two people. Yet my polyamorous neighbors tend to have a stronger moral fiber than I do as a monogamous person. I don’t believe this personally, this is merely an example, but you see my point. Some people might think I’m morally bankrupt for thinking this way.

I digress to some further examples.

“First, to ask whether someone’s life is meaningful is not one and the same as asking whether her life is happy or pleasant. A life in an experience or virtual reality machine could conceivably be happy but very few take it to be a prima facie candidate for meaningfulness (Nozick 1974: 42–45).”

An interesting idea is that the meaning lies within sacrificing one’s happiness for another’s. This is paraphrased from the weblink below. Can you imagine? Who would end up being the happy one if we all sacrificed for each other? It is truly the mind of a madman, the meaning of life to be “the sacrifice of one’s happiness for another’s”.

The obtaining of vast knowledge, the enlightenment, the idea that we all must possess great awareness.

(Taylor 1989, ch. 1). It is implausible to think that these criteria are satisfied by subjectivist appeals to whatever choices one ends up making or to whichever desires happen to be strongest for a given person. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

Although relatively few have addressed the question of whether there exists a single, primary sense of “life’s meaning,” the inability to find one so far might suggest that none exists. In that case, it could be that the field is united in virtue of addressing certain overlapping but not equivalent ideas that have family resemblances (Metz 2013, ch. 2). Perhaps when we speak of “meaning in life,” we have in mind one or more of these related ideas: certain conditions that are worthy of great pride or admiration, values that warrant devotion and love, qualities that make a life intelligible, or ends apart from base pleasure that are particularly choice-worthy. Another possibility is that talk of “meaning in life” fails to exhibit even this degree of unity, and is instead a grab-bag of heterogenous ideas (Mawson 2010; Oakley 2010). — quotation for the cited weblink below.

I will not wrangle with religion or politics in this piece, however, it is mentioned in the weblink. I personally do not believe the “meaning of life” should be associated with religion or politics. That is my opinion.

How about in relation to the soul? Does this have any bearing on how the “meaning of life” can be interpreted?

A soul-centered theory is the view that meaning in life comes from relating in a certain way to an immortal, spiritual substance that supervenes on one’s body when it is alive and that will forever outlive its death. If one lacks a soul, or if one has a soul but relates to it in the wrong way, then one’s life is meaningless. There are two prominent arguments for a soul-based perspective. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

I tend to lean on this theory because it has so much to do with impact. I’ve been hyper aware of how something small, like a smile, can be a huge impact to anyone. What if this has bearing on the meaning of life? Making an impact on those we meet? My problem is always the “why” part. Why make an impact. What impact does making an impact do, exactly?

Life seems nonsensical when the wicked flourish and the righteous suffer, at least supposing there is no other world in which these injustices will be rectified, whether by God or by Karma. Something like this argument can be found in the Biblical chapter Ecclesiastes, and it continues to be defended (Davis 1987; Craig 1994). — quotation for the cited weblink below.

However, both arguments are still plagued by a problem facing the original versions; even if they show that meaning depends on immortality, they do not yet show that it depends on having a soul. By definition, if one has a soul, then one is immortal, but it is not clearly true that if one is immortal, then one has a soul. Perhaps being able to upload one’s consciousness into an infinite succession of different bodies in an everlasting universe would count as an instance of immortality without a soul. — quotation for the cited weblink below.

These quotes are so influential to me because they resonate with me. I felt they were too good not to quote.

If I were to posit, for a moment, that the meaning of life were simple, mine would have to boil down to stability. I know, I know; I’ve been building up to this climax of how I think the meaning of life is merely the stability we yearn for, but there is some truth to it. If you think for a moment how terrifying the world and universe actually is, stability sounds mighty comforting.

We are rotating on a giant rock, hurling through vast network of galaxies and everything in between. I think the idea that all we really need right now is some stability, it’s not that farfetched. Of course the other luxuries come with it, such as: love, hope, health, interconnectedness with others, and acceptance.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/life-meaning/

The Hand of Gory?

Hands have many symbols from romance to fashion, but can they also be symbols of fear and evil?

Hi I’m Camille and I wanted to go into the “Hand of Glory, the legend that has stayed with me since I was a young girl. I’ve grown up with the stories of myths and legends since I was able to understand them, the obsession only growing as days pass.

What do hands mean to you? The object in which rings adorn. The appendage you hold when you love someone. It can be the means of language when speaking is no longer an option; it means many things to many people.

After what I’ve read and seen, the legend has been addressed in sections in small pieces. It’s difficult to find information on this subject as it is a strange and obscure legend, but it terrifies those who hear it. There are many representations in which the “creature” is merely a disembodied hand throughout the horror genre and even folklore and tales. Why? Anything that has been separated from the body can be terrifying, but what is it about the hand? I will dive into this strange legend.

The part of the legend I am familiar with, and the reason it scared me so much as a girl, is the most recent hand of glory in the Whitby museum. I cannot for the life of me find a clip or even a quip written about this part, so it’s possible I am remembering this incorrectly. The hand of glory in the Whitby museum was a criminal whose hand had been used in one such ritual, but when it was discovered and placed into the museum, there were witnesses that claimed the hand would move through the museum and even taunt the staff. Keeping in mind this is a severed hand, staff would say they “saw a hand scurry across the hallway,” or “I watched it open a door but there was no person attached,” such claims as those are terrifying. It scared me as a child.

So, what exactly is the “Hand of glory? In this context it is an object for which a strange ritual turns it into a talisman for thieves to use so, they may steal from someone. The most common method is to lop off a hand from a criminal hanging, pickle it, then fashion it into a candle. The c(hand)le is then lit so the criminal can then burgle the location in question. Many versions detail the various effects the hand of glory supposedly has, but in my opinion it’s a macabre tale.

We shall travel to Europe when criminals were used as examples to prevent further crime. Which is where this legend stems from. The legend details the hand of glory being used as a talisman to entrance the prospective victim. Once the victim is entranced, the criminal holding the talisman would be “invisible” just long enough to steal the items they were searching for and get away successfully. One version even claims that the hand of glory would glow brightly in the presence of the precious wealth they searched for, the whole reason they needed this strange tool to begin with. There are several versions in which the hand of glory has different effects on both the victim and the thief.

The legend even offers a way to protect yourself, though is equally as troubling and obscure. I don’t think screech owl blood, gall of a black cat(whatever that means), and fat of a chicken is available for pick up these days. If all else failed, you could extinguish the flame, only, with sterilized “blue milk”. I won’t go into too much detail on how to make the “Hand of glory”, those articles and videos will be cited below. Enjoy that gory detail.

Let’s dive into where they came up with this term. I forgot to mention this idea has been around since, at the least, the 18th century. It comes from the French “Mandrake”. These strange roots were also known to have mystical qualities. It is said, they too, can emanate light and could be used as a lamp. They were believed to grow near or under the hangman’s gallows in which even the criminals who hung, had a nightlight, that went as far back as the fifteenth century. How sweet. Of course the tales are sporadic at best, as there are few true illustrations of the legend. For example in 1590, during a witch trial in Scotland, one criminal confessed after intense, coercion and torture, to possessing this “Hand of glory”. Most people believed these tales as “gospel truth” (as they say) because it was a different time to live. It was a time where a doctor could say “this has a red root, therefore it shall possess a healing quality to those with bloodborne diseases”, see how that could work?

The Antiquary [by Sir Walter Scott] “

From his wallet drew a human hand,

Shrivel’d, and dry, and black;

And fitting, as he spake,

A taper in his hold,

Pursued: “A murderer on the stake had died;

I drove the vulture from his limbs, and lopt

The hand that did the murder, and drew up

The tendon strings to close its grasp;

And in the sun and wind

Parch’d it, nine weeks exposed.

The taper . . . But not here the place to impart,

Nor hast thou undergone the rites

That fit thee to partake the mystery.

Look! It burns clear, but with the air around,

Its dead ingredients mingle deathliness.”

In the Netherlands, West Flanders specifically, the hand, foot, or finger could be used to put people to sleep for the sake of thievery. The burning fingers would keep them sleepy and unable to defend from the thief. In Germany It is the thumb they use, also keeping the victim lethargic. It makes you wonder where in the world they came up with these rituals and strange beliefs. To us, it is strange. Hence why they are legends. Were these actual events that took places? Could we be missing the vital clue to make the legend a reality? It’s an excellent question, but alas, I cannot answer. I am merely telling you a tale.

This exploration has taken time and research to develop. I’ve wanted to do an analysis on this piece for a number of years and finally got to it. There are many that have looked at this legend, but in chunks or snippets. I want it all in one place. Of course the legends and tales I enjoy, have sporadic information. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to them. I am meant to investigate such subjects so that I may bring them to you. I want you to enjoy this dizzying, terrifying tale as much as I do. Enjoy the links below if you would like more information about this subject. I only scratched the surface of the how many variations there are of the story, and the methods in which it can be achieved.

Thank you for tuning into another episode of the “Dahlia Blake Corner of Intrigue.”

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/morbid-monday-severed-hands#:~:text=According%20to%20an%20old%20European,still%20hung%20from%20the%20gallows.

http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/origins15607-the-hand-of-glory.html

https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hand.html

https://the-line-up.com/hand-of-glory