The Month of December in Paranormal History

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A Brief History

This article presents a calendar of historical paranormal events that allegedly occurred in November!  Please click on the dates below to learn more information about that date’s paranormal history.

Digging Deeper: The Month of December in Paranormal History

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On December 15, 1967, the “Mothman” prophecy came true when the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River collapsed tumbling cars into the cold water!

On December 16, 2013, TheLongTone nominated the article for a popular creepypasta character titled “The Rake (cryptid)” for deletion.

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.

On December 17, 1862, the stormy history of civil rights in United States was once again shamefully marred when Major General Ulysses S. Grant, future President of the United States, issued his infamous General Order No. 11 which expelled all Jews from Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, the states in the military district he commanded.

On December 17, 1969, the U.S. Air Force shut down Project Blue Book, its investigation of UFOs.

On December 20, 217, reigning Pope Saint Zephyrinus died, replaced by Callixtus I as his successor.

On December 21, 2012, people across the globe waited for the end of the world!

On December 23, 962, Christian forces under Byzantine commander Nikephoros II Phokas (various spellings) stormed into the city of Aleppo in the Levant, earning the future Byzantine Emperor the title ‘Pale Death of the Saracens.”

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.

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.

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.

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”!

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Clarke, Roger.  Ghosts: A Natural History: 500 Years of Searching for Proof.  St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.

The featured image in this article, an 1861 painting of Mary Celeste (named Amazon at the time), by an unknown artist, 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 fewer.

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JCU Paranormal Research Group

The John Carroll Paranormal Research Group is a student organization that seeks to find out more about the paranormal while being academically intent and focusing on establishing credibility. Founded in the Fall of 2013 by Eugene Claridge and Raymond Camma, the BooStreaks have held many informative meetings that have included guest speakers, such as Dr. Judith Cetina and Bill Kreji, who appeared on Ghost Hunters in 2009. The group has worked with the Ohio P.I.R.A.T.E.S., a paranormal team out of Akron, Ohio, to learn some of their methods and to hear about their work. The Paranormal Research Group has conducted investigations in the following locations: the Cleveland Agora Theatre, the Ohio State Reformatory, the Russell Rhodes Mansion (a.k.a. the Cuyahoga County Archives), and the Sandy Chanty Seafood Restaurant. John Carroll University has recognized the group both in the Carroll News and most importantly, as the "Outstanding Organization of the Year." Not only has the group been able to explore the paranormal subject and investigated historically important locations in Ohio, but members had the fortunate opportunity to see advance screenings of major motion pictures that feature the paranormal, particularly The Quiet Ones (2013). After one academic year, group membership has risen to about eighty members, who seek further journeys this upcoming year. Please check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!