A Timeline of The Modern Supernatural: From Gods to Monsters in Western History (History 296)

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A Brief History

This article presents a timeline for students of The Modern Supernatural: From Gods to Monsters in Western History (History 296) at John Carroll University.

For each date below, please click on the date to be taken to an article covering that date’s event.  After reading that article, please post a one or two sentence comment in the comments section for the article that demonstrates that you read the article.

These comments or “thesis statements” are 1-2 sentence summaries of the article. They should include the most important aspects of each article. In other words, the thesis statement should include the individuals involved, the time period, and significance of the event.

For example, if you read an article on the Declaration of Independence, your comment could be something like the following: “The Declaration of Independence of 1776, originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson, formally declared the American colonies independent from Great Britain.  The Declaration also argued that all men are created equal with natural-born rights and that the government exists to secure said rights.”

Although I would prefer that you post your comments directly on the articles (every time anyone comments on one of my articles, I receive an email notification), if you are uncomfortable posting public comments on Disqus, you may instead email to me a list of your comments sent as a Word attachment.  If you email me your comments, for each comment, please be sure to include a footnote indicating what article your comment corresponds with.  To cite an article in a footnote, you should follow the following format:

Firstname Lastname, “Title of Web Page,” Publishing Organization or Name of Website, publication date and/or access date if available, URL.

Here is an example:

Daniel Zarzeczny, “December 27, 1922: World’s 1st Designed Aircraft Carrier Commissioned,” History & Headlines, last modified December 27, 2015, https://www.historyandheadlines.com/history-december-27-1922-worlds-1st-designed-aircraft-carrier-commissioned/.

Your comments on each unit’s articles should be completed by the date on the syllabus for when we finish that unit.

Digging Deeper

I. Course Introduction

  1. On February 16, 1923, King Tut’s burial chamber was entered for the first time in over 3,000 years!
  2. On June 8, 2017, we sit on the eve of the premier of the 2017 blockbuster monster movie, The Mummy.  
  3. On December 29, Catholics and Lutherans celebrate the feast day of David, that guy from the Bible who first made the news by slaying the giant Goliath.
  4. On December 17, 497 BC, the Romans celebrated their Pagan holiday, Saturnalia, a celebration honoring their god of agriculture (and a bunch of other things) with partying and sacrifice.
  5. On November 21, 164 BC, Judas Maccabeus dedicated the Second Temple in Jerusalem, a restoration of the Temple first built by Solomon on Temple Mount in 957 BC.
  6. On February 6, 60 AD, in the Roman city of Pompeii, an unknown graffiti artist noted that the day was “dies Solis” (Sunday), the first known instance of being able to attach a date to a day of the week.
  7. On June 11, 173, during the Marcomannic Wars (166–180), the Roman army in Moravia was encircled by the Quadi, who had broken the peace treaty of 171.
  8. On December 20, 217 AD, reigning Pope Saint Zephyrinus died, replaced by Callixtus I as his successor.
  9. On February 14, 269, Saint Valentine reportedly experienced martyrdom.
  10. On February 14th, many of our readers celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, a day associated with the martyrdom of the famous saint who was allegedly sentenced by a Roman emperor to be beaten with clubs and beheaded for refusing to renounce Christianity.
  11. On February 14, we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, a day on which we show our appreciation for our special loved one or significant other.
  12. On this day, September 25th, Catholics remember the death of Spanish Saint Fermin, the first bishop of Pamplona, in 303 A.D…and the miracles that followed!
  13. According to Orthodox Christian tradition, on October 27, 312 A.D., the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the Emperor Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky.
  14. On March 7, 321, Roman Emperor Constantine I decreed that dies Solis Invicti (‘sun-day,’ or Day of Sol Invictus, Roman God of the Sun) would be the Roman day of rest throughout the Roman Empire.
  15. On September 14, 326 A.D., Helena of Constantinople made one of the greatest discoveries in Christian history when she found the Holy Sepulchre (the crypt where Jesus was entombed) and the True Cross in Jerusalem.
  16. On December 6, 343, the man we have come to know as Santa Claus died at the age of 73 in Myra, part of the Roman Empire in what is now South Western Turkey.
  17. On January 2, 533, Mercurius, son of Projectus, a Roman priest was elected Pope by the Catholic Church.
  18. On November 14th, the Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Theodora who once spanked a man after he talked trash about his own wife!
  19. On December 11, 629, the Prophet of Allah and founder of the Muslim religion, Muhammad, led an army of 10,000 converts to Islam into Mecca and conquered the city with minimal casualties.
  20. On March 21, 630, Emperor Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire returned what he believed to be the “True Cross” (the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified) to Jerusalem to its current place in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
  21. October 19 marks the feast of Saint Frithuswith, also spelled Frideswide, who passed away on that date in 727 A.D., and for whom a king had died as he tried to force her into marriage!
  22. On December 14, 835, Emperor Wenzong of the Chinese Tang Dynasty was given the news that “sweet dew” had formed on a pomegranate tree outside a military headquarters, a sign of divine favor for the Emperor.
  23. On December 23, 962, Christian forces under Byzantine commander Nikephoros II Phokas stormed into the city of Aleppo in the Levant, earning the future Byzantine Emperor the title “Pale Death of the Saracens.”
  24. On February 15, 1113, the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Paschal II, issued a Papal Bull titled “Pie Postulatio Voluntatis,” recognizing the Order of Hospitallers, a military order of Catholic knights that had existed in the Holy Land since about 1099.
  25. On March 7, 1274, Saint Thomas Aquinas died having not completed his masterpiece, the Summa Theologiæ, in which he defines evil as the absence or privation of good.
  26. On December 13, 1294, Pope Celestine V, also known as Saint Celestine, resigned from the office of Pope of the Roman Catholic Church after only 5 months as pope.
  27. On February 14, 1349, the city of Strasbourg, France was the scene of a St. Valentine’s Day massacre 150 times worse than the more famous Chicago incident!
  28. On August 24, 1349, 6,000 Jews were massacred in Mainz, Germany by being burned alive.
  29. On February 10, 1355, Oxford, England, the site of the ultra-prestigious University of Oxford, was the scene of a considerable riot that cost the lives of 63 student/scholars and at least 30 townsfolk.
  30. On February 7, 1497, the followers of Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola of Florence, Italy, gathered and burned a large quantity of objects they referred to as “vanities,” objects such as cosmetics, books, artwork, mirrors, fancy clothes, playing cards, and musical instruments, any objects these religious zealots thought could lead people to sin.
  31. On January 3, 1521, Roman Catholic (Augustinian) priest and reformer Martin Luther was ex-communicated from the church by Pope Leo X.
  32. On May 20, 1521, the man that would become Saint Ignatius of Loyola was seriously wounded at Pamplona in a battle between the Spanish and the French supported Navarrese during the Spanish Conquest of Navarre, the region of land on the Iberian Peninsula between France and Spain.
  33. On January 21, 1535, in the aftermath of “The Affair of the Placards,” French Protestants were burned at the stake in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
  34. On July 25, 1593, Henry IV, King of France, converted from Calvinist Protestant back to the Catholicism of  his birth.
  35. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX issued his Apostolic constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, in which he established Catholic doctrine that the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, had been conceived without the ‘original sin’ that every other human is born with.
  36. On this day, September 23, 1968, a man eventually canonized as a saint passed away…after having apparently endured the stigmata for several years!
  37. On January 12, 2006, during the ceremony associated with the final day of the Hajj (annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) 362 Muslim pilgrims were stampeded to death in a sudden movement of the vast crowd.
  38. On February 11, 2013, the sitting Pope of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI, announced his resignation from the papacy.
  39. On January 25, 2014, an unknown thief or thieves stole a reliquary from an Italian mountainside chapel containing a piece of the bloodied robe Pope John Paul II had been wearing when he had gotten shot during the failed 1981 assassination attempt on his life.
  40. On November 1, 2017, we look back to last night when we got to see a pre-screening of the new Marvel major motion picture, Thor: Ragnarok.
  41. On April 15, 2019, we have the sad duty to inform our readers that one of the great historical cathedrals in the world, Notre Dame in Paris, France, has been burning for the past few hours and is virtually destroyed.

II. Introducing the Modern Supernatural in Western Enlightenment and Romanticism

  1. St. Albertus Magnus died on November 15, 1280, after having reportedly built an android and discovered the philosopher’s stone, but according to the faithful his body did not deteriorate and according to Mary Shelley, his writings influenced mad scientist Victor Frankenstein!
  2. On February 13, 1633, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to stand trial before the Catholic Inquisition for heresy.
  3. On January 1, 1773, the all familiar hymn “Amazing Grace” was performed for the first time at a church service in England.
  4. On June 12, 1939, for the first time production began an a horror film filmed in “three strip” Technicolor.

III. A Survey of the Modern Supernatural: The Persistence of the Ghost, The Undead, and Visitations from Heaven and Hell!

  1. On August 2, 1343, Olivier Clisson, a French nobleman from Brittany, was convicted of treason in Paris and beheaded.
  2. On June 17, 1462, Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad III The Impaler, or simply Dracula, conducted a night raid against his Turkish enemy, Mehmed II who had invaded Vlad’s land of Wallachia (Romania).
  3. On November 26, 1476, Vlad the Impaler became leader of Wallachia.
  4. On July 15, 1838, while delivering a speech at Harvard Divinity School, Ralph Waldo Emerson described Jesus as a “great man,” but not “God.”
  5. On June 25, 1843, Marie Anne Lenormand, France’s most famous fortune teller and cartomancer (card reader), died.
  6. On September 19, 1846, 2 shepherd children in La Salette-Fallavaux, France, experienced a vision or an encounter with what has officially been recognized by the Catholic Church as a meeting with the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.
  7. On February 8-9, 1855, the fresh snow of Devon, England was marked with mysterious, bipedal, cloven-hoofed tracks often referred to as “The Devil’s Footprints.”
  8. On April 18, 1857, Frenchman Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail, writing under the nom de plume Allan Kardec, published The Spirits Book, marking the beginning of the Spiritism philosophy (or religion or movement, if you prefer).
  9. On December 4, 1872, in the Atlantic Ocean west of the Iberian peninsula, the American brigantine Mary Celeste was found by the British brigantine Dei Gratia sailing east without its crew toward the Mediterranean.
  10. On February 2, 1887 (or 1886), the first Groundhog Day celebration took place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and such celebrations have been taking place over and over again ever since (on each February 2nd)!
  11. On June 20, 1890The Picture of Dorian Gray, a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, was first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine.
  12. On May 26, 1896, Bram Stoker’s horror novel, Dracula, was published.
  13. On January 23, 1897, Elva Zona Heaster, about 24 years old, was found dead, later proven to have been murdered by her husband through her own ghost’s testimony!
  14. On January 19, 1913, the Holly Hotel in Holly, Michigan burned for the first time!
  15. On December 24, 1914, exactly 100 years ago today, British and German soldiers facing each other across No Man’s Land in the trenches of World War I confounded their superiors by leaving their trenches and walking out to meet and greet their enemies in the spirit of Christmas brotherhood.
  16. On December 29, 1916, possibly the most cracked clergyman of all time finally met his doom, having been poisoned, shot, and drowned, thereby rivaling Blackbeard for the claim of bearded bad-ass who most went out “like a boss”!
  17. On July 13, 2018, probably not coincidentally Friday the 13th, the new blockbuster animated film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, opens at theaters across the United States.
  18. On April 5, 2019, the chilling Stephen King story, Pet Sematary (novel 1983) is ready once again for widespread release on the big screen as a reboot of the 1989 movie version.
  19. On April 19, 2019, horror movie fans get another installment in the Annabelle/Conjuring movie universe, this time called The Curse of La Llorona. 

IV. The Witch as Political Symbol

  1. On October 29, 1390, Paris, France got its first taste of professional witch hunting when the first of two witchcraft trials began in the French capital.
  2. On July 7, 1456, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) was acquitted of heresy.
  3. On August 18, 1612, the trials of the “Pendle Witches” began in England.
  4. On August 19, 1612, three women from Samlesbury in Lancashire, England were put on trial for witchcraft.
  5. On June 2, 1692, the trial of Bridget Bishop began, starting a reign of terror in Salem, Massachusetts known as The Salem Witch Trials.
  6. On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey, age 81, became a footnote in the history of America by becoming the first and only man to be “pressed” to death during legal proceedings.
  7. On September 22, 1692, 8 people convicted of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials were executed by hanging.
  8. On May 14, 1878, the town of Salem, Massachusetts, was fittingly (in a way) the scene of the last known trial for the crime of witchcraft in the United States.
  9. On October 9, 2013American Horror Story: Coven debuted on FX with at least three characters based on real life infamous Americans!
  10. Blair Witch (2016) is an American found footage psychological horror film being released in the United States on September 16 by Lionsgate.

V. From Bewitching to Possession

  1. Contrary to Pat Robertson’s beliefs, on November 18, 1803, Haitians won their independence, not with the Devil’s assistance, but with their victory at The Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution.
  2. On April 10, 1908, a Cambridge educated Englishman finished translating The Book of the Law, which had been given to him by a messenger of the God, Horus!
  3. On July 29, 1976, the homicidal lunatic known to the tabloid press as “Son of Sam” murdered his first victim and wounded another in the first of 8 shooting attacks by David Berkowitz of New York City.
  4. On June 20, 2001, a Texas mother of 5, former high school valedictorian and swim team captain, decided she had to save her children from Satan.

VI. The Supernatural as Technological Document: Ghost Hunters and Paranormal Investigators versus Debunkers

  1. On April 14, 1561, numerous Germans witnessed what they described as an aerial battle over Nuremberg, Germany.
  2. On August 25, 1835, the New York newspaper The Sun published the first of 6 articles about alleged new scientific discoveries concerning the moon, specifically that a civilization had been found thriving there.
  3. On April 17, 1897, a UFO hit a windmill and crashed, killing its pilot!
  4. On March 4, 1918, the USS Cyclops kept a date with destiny!
  5. On October 22, 1926, J. Gordon Whitehead dealt a potentially deadly sucker punch to magician Harry Houdini’s stomach.
  6. On March 2, 1933, the classic monster movie, King Kong, opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
  7. On November 12, 1933, Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster.
  8. On April 21, 1934, one of the most famous photographs in history was taken by a London gynecologist!
  9. On February 24, 1942, less than 3 months after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the city of Los Angeles seemed to be under attack from a mysterious flying object.
  10. On October 6, 1945, Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Chicago’s Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series thereby (allegedly) cursing the Chicago Cubs for at least the next sixty years!
  11. On December 5, 1945, a flight of U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo flew into history, providing grist for the paranormal mill that the Bermuda Triangle became!
  12. On June 24, 1947, veteran pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing what he described as a line of shiny UFO’s flying past Mount Rainier (Washington) at a rate of “at least 1200 miles per hour.”
  13. On July 7, 1947, a mysterious object fell from the sky near Roswell, New Mexico, and was reported the next day in the local newspaper as a “Flying Saucer” captured by RAAF (Roswell Army Airfield) personnel.
  14. On July 8, 1947,  the local Roswell newspaper reported the crash of a UFO outside of town, calling it a “flying saucer.”
  15. On January 7, 1948, a Kentucky Air National Guard pilot met his death trying to intercept a UFO!
  16. On September 12, 1952, stunned citizens of Flatwoods, West Virginia in Braxton County met up with a monster that may have been a close encounter with an alien life form.
  17. On November 23, 1953, a United States Air Force F-89C interceptor fighter jet was scrambled to intercept an unknown radar contact over Lake Michigan.
  18. On February 18, 1954, Los Angeles, California hosted the establishment of a new religion.
  19. On November 3, 1954, Godzilla, the giant fire-spewing, dinosaur-like dragon, born of nuclear bomb tests, emerged from the sea and onto the silver screen to ravage Japan.
  20. On November 2, 1957, the North Texas prairie town of Levelland (population around 10,000 at the time) was the scene of one of the better documented UFO incidents.
  21. On February 2, 1959, 9 Russian university students hiking and skiing in the wilderness of the Ural mountains died mysteriously.
  22. On October 2, 1959, the television anthology series, The Twilight Zone, made its debut on CBS television.
  23. On December 9, 1965, citizens of Detroit and Eastern Michigan, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania (a total of 6 states plus Ontario) were treated to a fireball in the night sky, as mysterious then as it is now.
  24. On September 8, 1966, Americans in love with science fiction were treated to the most iconic space-oriented television show of all time when Star Trek made its debut on NBC.
  25. On January 29, 1967, the “hippie” counterculture scene melded with Hare Krishna at the Mantra-Rock Dance in San Francisco, later referred to as “the ultimate high.”
  26. On October 20, 1967, Roger Patterson shot his famous footage of a bigfoot at Bluff Creek, California.
  27. On December 15, 1967, the “Mothman” prophecy came true when the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River collapsed tumbling cars into the cold water!
  28. On October 19, 1969, the fickle winds of fate must have been blowing awful hard, because the almost supernatural coincidence of cartoonist Trey Parker and self proclaimed psychic John Edward were both born on this day.
  29. On December 17, 1969, the U.S. Air Force shut down Project Blue Book, its investigation of UFOs.
  30. On November 13, 1974, the real story of The Amityville Horror began when Ronald DeFeo, Jr. savagely murdered his entire family in the house featured in the popular horror story.
  31. On November 16, 1974, a radio signal was sent from Earth to the star cluster known as M13 in an attempt to communicate with whatever intelligent life forms may exist in that area of the Universe.
  32. On September 19, 1976, 2 F-4 Phantom IIs of the Imperial Iranian Air Force flew out to intercept a UFO over the capital city of Tehran.
  33. On November 26, 1977, the people of southern Britain were astonished to find their afternoon televisions hijacked by an entity claiming to be “Vrillon.” 
  34. On October 21, 1978, the Australian pilot of a Cessna 182 (small single engine propeller airplane) disappeared, but not before he radioed to Melbourne air traffic controller that he was being shadowed by “not an aircraft.”
  35. On September 22, 1979,  a huge, unidentified double flash of light was seen by a US reconnaissance satellite near the Prince Edward Islands near Antarctica.
  36. On December 24, 1980, a series of mysterious lights and aircraft were sighted in the area of Rendlesham Forest (Sussex England) and allegedly covered up by British authorities.
  37. On January 8, 1981, a close encounter with a UFO left actual physical evidence!
  38. On May 13, 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish member of the Grey Wolves (ultranationalist Turkish neo-fascist organization), attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II by shooting the pontiff 4 times with a 9mm Browning semi-automatic pistol.
  39. On March 19, 1987, under fire for sex and financial irregularities the star of one of televisions most popular evangelist Christian shows resigns!
  40. On October 9, 1992, an unidentified flying object (UFO) crashed in a driveway in Peekskill, New York, crushing the trunk of the 1980 Chevy Malibu that was parked there.
  41. On March 13, 1997, the skies over Arizona from the Nevada state line through Phoenix and on to Tuscon, a 300 mile stretch, were lit by a series of lights that fascinated and baffled thousands of witnesses that observed them, including Governor Fife Symington of Arizona.
  42. On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate awaited transport for their souls to a waiting UFO with $5.75 in each person’s pants pocket to pay for tolls!
  43. On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the “Heaven’s Gate” cult were found to have committed suicide with the intention of being picked up by an alien spacecraft and taken somewhere into outer space where they presumably would find eternal happiness.
  44. On January 5, 2000, witnesses, of whom at least 5 were police officers, observed a triangular UFO over the American state of Illinois.
  45. On October 13th, 2010, roughly thirty years after the famed Rendelsham Forest incident, thousands of eyewitnesses reported seeing shiny, circular objects in the skies above New York City – validating the mass UFO sighting predicted by Stanley A. Fulham, a former NORAD officer and relatively well-known author, a few months earlier.
  46. On February 19, 2013, management and guests at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles finally found out why their water had been getting worse and worse over the past month.
  47. On April 25, 2014The Quiet Ones will be released in American theaters.
  48. On October 3, 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures releases Annabelle, a film about a haunted doll, to theaters.
  49. Based on the British equivalent of the real life Amityville Horror referred to as the Enfield Poltergeist,  the major motion picture The Conjuring 2 is set to open on Friday, June 10, 2016.
  50. On October 11, 2016, the first episode of season one of American horror anthology television series Channel Zero will air on SyFy.
  51. On October 4, 2017, the third episode of season two of American horror anthology television series Channel Zero will air on SyFy.

VII. The Modern Supernatural: A Reflection

  1. On May 23, 2006, Chooseco published an updated version of The Abominable Snowman as the first of their reissues of the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks from the early 1980s so dear to this author’s heart.
  2. On December 21, 2012, people across the globe waited for the end of the world!
  3. On February 2, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fumbled the unfortunate groundhog Charlotte, dropping the marmot on her head during a Groundhog Day ceremony.
  4. Today, June 13, 2014, the latest cinematic version of Godzilla is being released in China after having already been released throughout Europe and the Americas in May 2014.
  5. On July 13, 2014, the 20th FIFA World Cup soccer championship game took place between Germany and Argentina with an alleged “psychic” turtle called upon to predict the result.
  6. On September 12, 2014, Farsight Studios continued their goal of digitizing historic pinball machines by launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the digitization of one of the most popular machines of all time: The Addams Family.
  7. On October 22, 2014 and again on October 29, 2014, the FX channel television production American Horror Story: Freak Show features a two-faced character based on real-life human freak Edward Mordrake.
  8. October 30th, also known as “Mischief Night” or “Devil’s Night,” is usually known for various pranks practiced prior to Halloween by children, teenagers and sometimes even adults.
  9. One of the world’s most widely celebrated holidays occurs today: Halloween!
  10. Many of our readers are probably preparing for their Halloween parties this weekend.
  11. On October 31st, we celebrate Halloween around the world!
  12. On November 1st, Mexicans continue their three-day celebration known as the “Day of the Dead,” which begins on October 31st and concludes on November 2nd.
  13. On February 2, 2015, we posted an article about last year’s Groundhog Day debacle in which New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio managed to accidentally kill a groundhog named Charlotte.
  14. On April 17, 2015, Universal Pictures releases Unfriended (previously known as Cybernatural and before that as Offline) to theaters in the United States of America.
  15. Morgan, an upcoming 2016 American science fiction thriller film directed by Luke Scott and written by Seth Owen, is scheduled to be released on September 2, 2016 by 20th Century Fox.
  16. Just as they have in the past, with a nod to Delphine LaLaurie of season 3 and the freaks featured in season 4, as well as season 5’s tribute to the Cecil Hotel, American Horror Story leans heavily on basing their current season (season 6) on the mystery of the Roanoke Colony and throwing in a real life pair of serial killers, Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood, who are depicted in the second episode of the season in their nurse outfits murdering an old woman and painting a letter “M” on the wall, just as the real killers did.
  17. On October 31, 2016, millions of kids across the United States will go out in costumes trick or treating for Halloween, while millions more adults will attend costume parties for the spooky holiday.
  18. On March 7, 2017, we at History and Headlines along with members of John Carroll University’s Paranormal Research Group were privileged to preview the major motion picture Kong: Skull Island.
  19. On March 22, 2017, John Carroll University’s Paranormal Research Group had the privilege of viewing an early screening of the new science fiction/space/alien movie Life, and despite high expectations we were not disappointed.
  20. On July 13, 2017, we are on the eve of the release of the major motion picture, Wish Upon, a medium budget ($12 million) supernatural horror film that plays upon the idea that you better be careful what you wish for!
  21. On August 3, 2017, we are happy to report on our screening (last night) of the new major motion picture, The Dark Tower, a film adaptation of the book series (8 novels from 1982 to 2012) by Horror Maven Stephen King.
  22. On September 8, 2017, Warner Brothers Pictures major motion picture, It, the adaptation of the creepy Stephen King horror novel (1986), will be released to theaters across the US.
  23. On September 22, 2017, the new horror film Friend Request opens in theaters across the U.S.
  24. On October 18, 2017, in honor of the month that brings us Halloween, perhaps the greatest of all holidays, we list our 10 favorite horror themed television series that are airing this month, some of which may have finished their season in October and others that are just starting.
  25. On November 17, 2017, the DC Comics inspired superhero action movie Justice League makes its nationwide premier in theaters across the USA.
  26. On January 5, 2018, the fourth movie in the Insidious horror movie series makes its opening across the US, bringing the familiar character, ghost buster Elise Rainier, back into play in a battle against evil.
  27. On January 30, 2018, evil runs in the family in the first trailer for writer and director Ari Aster’s Hereditary, a 2018 American horror film that premiered on January 21, 2018 at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight section.

Questions for students: What was the most interesting possibly supernatural event in Western Civilization and why?

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Goodman, Felicitas D.  How about Demons?: Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World (Folklore Today).  Indiana University Press, 1988.

Rampton, Martha, ed.  European Magic and Witchcraft: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures).  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Schwartz, Alvin.  Scary Stories Treasury: Three Books to Chill Your Bones [Paperback compilation].  New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013.

The featured image in this article, The Nightmare (1791) by Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) from wartburg.edu (image) and the Detroit Institute of Art (Accession number: 55.5.A) in Detroit (described at URLhttp://www.dia.org/object-info/f222b80e-c3ba-4dd0-a705-4b14cb4f5ad6.aspx?position=2), is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.

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About Author

Dr. Zar

Dr. Zar graduated with a B.A. in French and history, a Master’s in History, and a Ph.D. in History. He currently teaches history in Ohio.