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Urban myths of the paranormal


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user posted image rT. Stokes: Over the years the same stories tend to go round,Often they are embellishments of a true story or more often, have little basis in truth at all, and always happened to someone who is a friend of a friend of a friend. One such story is the tale of the headless hitchhiker, usually a young man or more often a woman, who thumbs a lift late at night, only to get out of the car at the destination with no head, so the story runs an accident at that spot some years ago left the young person decapitated.A particular favourite of mine is about the saying “ I nearly had kittens”.One of my college students came out with this after class.This comes from having an irrational fear, it originates from the middle ages and tells of the fear that witches would bring on pregnancy pains, which were a spell turning the baby into kittens, which clawed at her insides.Nowadays we know witches cannot do such things.Everyone knows the tale of some wicked old man who at the exact moment he died, all the clocks stopped, an internet search revealed over 40 similar stories. But how many are true ?

Another is the Chinese restaurant who puts cat and dog meat into the food, continued eating of which brings people to act like cats and dogs.Prolonged investigation through back copies of newspapers revealed just 7 convictions throughout the U.K over a 37 year period, for adding banned meat products.When you consider what goes into some sausage products, not really much cause for concern here.Another favourite of mine is the family holiday usually in Spain, where driving through a remote district, the old granny dies of a heart attack, and is put into the boot.When stopping at a roadside café, the car is stolen, only to be found intact washed and cleaned with an apologetic note, saying the thief would never interfere with a mafia killing, and is so sorry and will never take another car again.A friend holidaying in Tibet last year brought back a similar tale.Several people have told me the following story which they swear is true.The prime ministers wife Cherie Blair, went out wearing a bright red jumper,and was standing by a pillar box, when a short sighted old lady came and thrust a handful of Christmas cards into her mouth.I see the resemblance, but feel this is highly unlikely.The moral perhaps is not to believe all we are told, just as newspapers will miss out some major stories, and papers of different political persuasions will cover very differently the same news, so much that we read is questionable and needs some internal editing.

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