Edgar Allan Poe’s darker secret

While the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe are macabre and mysterious, investigations into his personal life reveal an even darker side: At least two of his famous works may actually have been inspired by real and, shockingly, personal events.

“It would seem that elements of ‘The Telltale Heart’ and ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ coincide with actual unsolved police cases, one a murder, the other a disappearance, suspected foul play,” says Ryan Ng, Researcher and Literary Analyst.

The revelations come to light after Ryan tracked the historical movements of Poe and compared them against police records. What he found has convinced him that Poe is guilty of more than just stealing our imaginations.

Twenty years after The Telltale Heart was published, renovations at a seaside manor in New Jersey uncovered the corpse of an elderly man from under the floorboards. The date of death was officially determined as being twenty-two years earlier which, Ryan demonstrates, is precisely the time when Edgar was known to have ‘visited a friend’ in that area.

“The timing is almost perfect. Also, in Virginia, there was a wealthy businessman, Kieth Hitchcock, who disappeared after attending a masquerade ball. The grounds next to the ball was a construction site, known to have been visited by Poe and his friends during a holiday from University. I would be keen to see if there are any skeletons buried inside those walls,” says Ryan, “If we look at the progression from killing a cat, then old men, then wealthy businessmen, we see a very real pattern of psychopathic behaviour.”

Publishing his stories is an sign of Poe’s restrained regret, Ryan says, whereas the details placed within the story, specifically highlighting the cleverness of his crimes smacks of the egotistical mind of a genuine serial killer.

“I’m currently investigating the Pit and the Pendulum to see if there are any crimes of torture to which he might be linked.”ChesterLogoSmall

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Good Vibrations

The air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink all play a part in affecting our health. Now scientists are looking at vibration frequencies and how they affect our bodies.

“We know that certain frequencies can positively and negatively affect our bodies, from blood flow, to muscle development, even brain function. We have seen that there are some stimulus and response ‘notes’ that, when hit, resonate certain parts of our bodies,” says Deak Gorbon, curator of the study.

It was shown that certain low frequencies affect the heart rate of participants, along with blood sugar levels, mental aptitude and problem solving capabilities. On the flip side, higher frequencies can result in reduced oxygen levels at the extremities.

Of particular note are certain rates around the 50 to 60 Hertz, common worldwide for AC electrical systems and transmission, which was shown to affect brainwaves, with a notable decrease in Beta waves and increase Alpha waves, mimicking a sleep-like state.

“Environment affects every aspect of our lives. It’s only natural to expect that vibrations, possibly the most fundamental natural phenomenon, has an effect on our body as well. It appears that the resonant frequencies of various geometric structures in our bodies cause these reactions. We are looking to see how we can apply this in a medical way, such as to decrease healing time, or aid a patient’s paranoia.” ChesterLogoSmall

 

Mobile Phones Dangerous

The smart phone industry has brought many advances in mobile technology but, along with the good, comes the bad. Eye fatigue and repetitive strain injuries are reportedly on the rise, and along with the common-place medical issues, doctors have seen a rise in other, more obtuse diagnoses.

“I’ve heard anecdotal evidence (from other clinics) that neck and shoulder muscle injuries have tripled. We’ve got a serious rise in the number of direct head and limb injuries related to people walking into poles, falling off platforms and hitting overhead obstacles,” says Sue Sapenard, General Practioner in London’s East End, “People just aren’t paying attention to what’s around them. My colleague (Dr. Brett McMahon) also suspects that there is a link to psychoses like paranoia.”

‘Socal-media Overexposure’ or SMO may become a diagnoses, she says, a condition whereby people cannot ‘switch off’ the social portions of their brain, and so are constantly worrying too much about how they appear to others.

“This can lead to over analysing, repetitive thoughts and the like, which then grows to full blown paranoia,” says Dr McMahon, “We can also see that there is a genuine anxiety tha a phone has being hacked, or that it’s taking over one’s life or even that it’s out of date. It’s the same disease, just with a different context.”

Drs Sapenard and McMahon are preparing a report that they hope will highlight the need to ‘downtime’ apps on phones to be made mandatory, and ultrasonic sensors to be built in as standard to warn about impending obstacles.ChesterLogoSmall

Ghost Hunting a Science

Following on from television shows like ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and books like ‘Paranormology‘, the hunt for ghosts and research into the spiritual realm is set to lose its pseudoscience badge in favour of a degree.

Students at the University of Mount Gambier in South Australia can now choose to become official Paranormologists. With the aim to make Paranormology as commonplace as geography or astronomy, the University is trialing the course over the next few years.

“The first few subjects deal with scientific methodology, the importance of thoroughly recording observations and peer review. Once the students have a grounding in the accepted practices, they then move on to equipment, practical training and observation techniques,” says Doctor Sue Rochester, “The word ‘ghost’ doesn’t even appear in any recommended text books until the third year.”

Unproven methodologies such as clairvoyance and seances are not part of the curriculum, says Sue, although they are addressed in the subjects of hoaxes.

“As a scientist working in a field that naturally attracts charlatanism, it’s important to know how to remain objective, how to spot human interference, how to use scientific analysis to rule out trickery.”

The Paranormology course is being piloted with a view for expanding into other fields, such as Cryptozoology and Ufology.