Former electrical engineer and expert in supernatural science, Voodoo, and conjuring, Tobias McGriff, discussed his exploration of the supernatural in Savannah, as well as history and cases of 'The Hag' phenomenon. He described the ghost tours he conducts in Savannah, which has been called the most haunted city in America. In one instance, as he spoke to his tour group outside a home that was said to be haunted by a negative spirit, he felt a cold presence pass through him, and immediately afterward when he went to take a sip from his water bottle, it tasted so foul he had to spit it out. He kept the water bottle, and the next day it turned a murky color and gave off a bad smell-- McGriff surmised that when the spirit passed through him, it also went through the water.
Local to Savannah and the adjacent "Lowcountry" are what he called "Conjurers," descendants of West African slaves who practice a mixture of Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Christianity. In general, practitioners of Voodoo are concerned with the community, while Hoodoo is a more individual practice that can involve esoteric dark sorcery, McGriff explained. He spoke about the process of "reverse exorcism," a Voodoo ritual to bring in a spirit of the patriarchs, in a kind of willful possession, so that the spirit can be bartered with. For more on this, see McGriff's book trailer.
Regarding 'Old Hag' Syndrome, McGriff believes it has been overly explained away by sleep paralysis. While he conceded that many incidents are indeed associated with this medical disturbance, he argued that Hag attacks are a separate phenomenon. In fact, there is a 5,000-year-old reference in China to a "pressing ghost" found etched on bone, and similar records in Mongolia, which did not mention the sleep state, he noted. McGriff characterized Hags as shadow or spirit entities that seem to live off the unhappiness of other people, and particularly target women who have psychic abilities. One way to be less susceptible to Hag attacks, he suggested, is to be a less hospitable host-- i.e. regain happiness, since they are feeding on negativity.
First hour guest, researcher Christian Wilde shared updates on heart health and inflammation research. As he'd reported several years ago, inflammation has been associated with heart disease, but now studies have connected it with other diseases such as cancer. This new information associates abdominal fat, and a high fat diet as contributing factors to the inflammatory process, said Wilde, adding that Omega 3s, turmeric, and aspirin can help reduce inflammatory markers. He also suggested checking your BMI (Body Mass Index) to assess your condition-- a score of 20 to 24.9 indicates a lower mortality rate, he said.
Researchers at Caltech and Harvard have created an artificial jellyfish using a silicone base and rat heart cells. Dubbed a "Medusoid," the synthetic creature swims in water in a similar fashion to a real jellyfish. More at BBC News and LiveScience.
Bumper music from Monday July 23, 2012