Wednesday, 22 July 2015

St Mary Magdalene - “the sinner from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons”

St Mary Magdalene - “the sinner from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons”

 Born into a wealthy family, in fact she was royalty, with her parents and brother Lazarus and Sister Martha, they owned, and lived in a castle, just two miles from the Sea Genezareth. They also owned the village of Bethany, near Jerusalem.

 Like all wealthy people of the time, they indulged in carnal pleasures, gluttony and other earthly sins.
 Mary was known to enjoy the bodily pleasures her wealth and beauty brought her, and through her constant quest for pleasure, soon found her good name gone, to be replaced in the streets as merely “The Sinner”.

  Mary soon became a lady of the streets, and in time found herself in the house of Simon the Leper as Jesus himself visited. Mary, not wanting to sit amongst the just, Mary walked up to Jesus, washed his feet with her tears, dried his feet with her hair and anointed them.

 Jesus gave much to Mary Magdalene, he expelled seven evil spirits from her. She became a loyal friend and supporter, and helped Jesus upon his journey. He defended her against the Pharisee who called her impure, against her own sister who accused her of being idle, and against Judas, her accused Mary of being a spendthrift.
 Jesus also raised her brother Lazarus from the grave, four days after his death, and cured her sister Martha from hemorrhages that had plagued her for seven years

 Mary followed Jesus from Magdala in Galilee to Bethany in Judea, and later to Cavalry, where she watched on as our Lord was forced to bare his cross, and then was crucified. She sat at the foot of his cross as he suffered for our sins. She was it his tomb when he was buried, and was the last to leave.
Mary was also the first person to which Jesus appeared upon his resurrection on Easter Sunday – and was heard to utter “Christ Has Risen!” – Which still echoes through time today for all Christians

Mary Magdalene went from great sinner, to Saint, and the “Apostles of the Apostles”, and after the resurrection of Jesus, she continued to preach his word.
When the persecutions started around 42 AD, the people of the Church of Jerusalem scattered amongst the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean Sea, into Greece, Italy Spain and Gaul (France). 
Mary, Lazarus, Mary Salome and Mary Jacoby, disciples Maximin and Sidonius were all forced onto a ship with no sails, oars or supplies and set to sea. The ship floated across the Mediterranean Sea and eventually found its way a port called Rha (France) that later became known as Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Holy Marys of the Sea).

 The group continued to deliver the gospel in their new found home, with Lazarus baptizing new Christians at every chance.
 Soon the group split up with Mary Salome, Mary Jacoby and Marcella remaining in Rha while the others made their way overland to Massilia (Marseille). Martha soon left for Tarascon, and Maximin for Aix.
 Lazarus would remain in Massilia, eventually becoming the cities first Bishop, whilst Mary and Sidonius traveled to La Sainte Baume.
 Mary and Sidonius discovered a large natural cave in La Saint Buame, which they would make their home, and where Mary Magdalene would see out her final days in Penance.
 Mary would spend the next 30 years meditating in solitude, other than the seven angels who would visit her daily. The Angles would take Mary to the top of the mountain she was living under, to hear the sounds of music from heaven, and to take in the view that allowed her to see out to the Mediterranean Sea. It is said in the 30 years she spent in the cave, Mary did not drink water, nor eat.
 After 30 years of longing to be reunited with Jesus, the day finally came when the Lord enlightened her that her death was near. The Lord guided her to the village of Villalata, and along the way she was met by Maximin, who had been divinely inspired to meet her and lead her Church. At the very spot they met, there was a pillar – which still stands today.
 Mary Magdalene received Holy Communion from Maximin in the new Church, and fell lifeless, before him at the altar. The year was 72 AD.
 Mary was buried with great pomp and dignity in an alabaster tomb near the Church, upon her death it was noted the Church, and her body gave pf a sweet perfume – this is often associated with the holiest of people and incorruptible bodies.

A century and more passed, and in 1279, an excavation of a crypt under St Maximin in France, Charles II, The Count of Province, discovered a sarcophagus made of marble, which upon opening smelled distinctly perfumed which the Count believed may have been something similar to the perfume Mary Magdalene had anointed the feet of Jesus with.

 The skeletal remains were missing the lower leg bones and the jaw, and were found with a note on papyrus which read:

The year of the birth of the Lord 710, the sixth day of December, at night and very secretly, under the reign of the very pious Eudes, king of the Franks, during the time of the ravages of the treacherous nation of the Saracens, the body of the dear and venerable St. Mary Magdalene was, for fear of the said treacherous nation, moved from her alabaster tomb to the marble tomb, after having removed the body of Sidonius, because it was more hidden.

There was also a wood tablet covered in wax, inscribed with the words “Hic requiescit corpus beatae Mariae Magdalenae.” It was estimated to be made between the 1st and 4th centuries.

To honour his great find, Charles II built the Basilica; “Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume”, in place of the old church. The relics of Saint Mary, including her jawbone, which had been venerated in Rome for the previous Millennia, and returned by Pope Boniface VIII, were put on display in a unique gold reliquary
 Every year, on the Sunday closest to the 22nd of July, Saint Mary Magdalene’s remains, affixed with a gold mask upon the reliquary, are carried around the town to celebrate her life and her sacrifices to Jesus.
Another Holy Relic of Saint Mary Magdalene is one of her teeth, displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Haunting of the Manhattan Dry Cleaners – Adelaide Arcade

The Haunting of the Manhattan Dry Cleaners – Adelaide Arcade

  The Adelaide Arcade was officially opened on the 12th of December 1885 by Governor Sir William Robinson to much fanfare and celebration.
 The new arcade, between Rundle Street and Grenfell Street was to host Turkish Baths, 50 stores, accommodation for store owners, floored with Kapunda Marble, specially sourced glass panels from England and a first for the City of Adelaide - electric lighting.

 The Arcade needed to have its own power generator, as electric lighting was a brand new thing in Australia, and no power stations as we know them today were available.  A gas fired generator was bolted to the floor of shop nine and was written about in the “Adelaide Observer, 19th Dec.1885 – on page 33:

“The engine Room is well worth the visit. Here there is the dynamo which works the electric light. In the centre are the soft-iron magnets and the thousands of coils of wire so beautifully placed in relation to each other that the slightest current engendered in the wire shall immediately accumulate over and over almost ad infinitum. The soft Iron magnets do their part by reason of the positive and negative poles in their mutual attractive force creating electricity. The current before passing on to the insulated wires branching off to the sixteen lamps has to pass over a little bridge of thin platinum.”

 It was the job of Henry Harcourt, the Arcades engineer, to light and extinguish the Arcade lights, and monitor and service the generator as needed. On June 21st 1887, Mr Harcourt had to leave early for an Exhibition elsewhere in the City, telling Francis Cluney, the Arcade Beadle (a person similar to a cross between a security guard and an usher) that he would return in 15 minutes.

 Francis was a well-liked gentlemen, always dressed in his red military uniform that he had worn during service in the Crimean and Boar Wars. On this particular evening a group of young men had been making a nuisance of themselves, breaking picture frames at Mr Tattles Photography shop.
 Francis chased then down, and brought them back to the arcade to pay for their damage. The young man hung around though, and Francis was heard to say to Mr Tattle; “If the Larrikins keep going on like that I will do as I did last night and put all the lights out”

Mr Harcourt left at 5 minutes past 8pm, and sometime in the next ten minutes, Francis Cluney, who had gone to check on the gas turbine, lost his life.
At 8:12pm – Mr W.C Sims was walking through the Arcade and noticed the lights suddenly go off, and as he got closer to shop 9, he noticed a young fellow by the name “Horne”, leaving the shop, exclaiming “ There is a man killed” – was Mr Horne, perhaps, the last person to see Mr Cluney alive?
A Police Officer was called, and with Mr Sims, they entered shop 9 to find what was a distorted and almost totally unrecognisable person caught in the electricity generator – unrecognisable, except for the distinct red uniform.

The following newspaper report comes from the Territory Times on August 6th 1887, describing the condition of Mr Cluneys body

“It took all the strength of six men to drag the fly-wheel back so as to extricate the body of the unfortunate victim. The engine has two fly-wheels parallel to each other and about 4 feet apart. The body was found with the head and shoulders jammed in between the right fly-wheel and the body of the engine. The upper part of the man's head was smashed to atoms, the fragments of the skull being' scattered upon the floor and the engine. The head disfigured beyond recognition, and one foot was torn off. No one saw the accident, and the unfortunate man seems to have been killed almost instantly by the revolving fly-wheel, one of the spokes of which smashed the skull. As far as can be judged Cluney must have fallen accidentally against the inner edge of the fly-wheel, which is five or six feet in diameter, and was then jammed against the engine, his body checking the machinery and causing the extinction of the light”

 Since the death of Francis Cluney, there have been sightings of his spirit in the Arcade, but particularly in shop 9, which is now held by the Manhattan Dry Cleaners.
 Most sightings of Francis are fast moving blurs and shadows, and it is said he has a distinct dislike to rude, arrogant and loud people, or for people talking about electric lighting.

 In 2013, I got to be part of the first ever professional paranormal investigation by ANYONE in the Adelaide Arcade as part of Haunting: Australia. Whilst in the Manhattan Dry Cleaners, Robb Demarest and myself experienced phenomena that intrigues us greatly. We both felt touching sensations on our hands, as if being shook, hot and cold touching, and a very distinct disembodied voice answered Robb’s question directly – none of this was sensationalised nor faked – what you saw on the show, is as it happened.

 Earlier this year, on May 9th 2015, my team Eidolon Paranormal and our friends GCT Paranormal Investigators were invited to investigate the Manhattan Dry Cleaners by the Berry Family, the owners of the Dry Cleaners since 1979.
 The Berry family have experienced many strange and unusual happenings in the shop, including disembodied voices, poltergeist like activity, phantom footsteps, touching and cold spots.
 In the video below, Jayson Berry, tells of goings on after the investigation (Jayson was also featured on Haunting: Australia as a witness to events).

 During our investigation (only the 2nd one to ever happen in the Manhattan Dry Cleaners), we experienced activity, partly we believe because we utilised members of the Berry Family as trigger objects.
 We experienced disembodied voices and rem pod interaction amongst other things, of which we will explore in a further video on our youtube channel very soon

Today is the anniversary of the death of Francis Frederick Cluney – on June 21st 1887, at some time between 8:05pm and 8:12pm – may he eventually find what he is looking for, get closure, and rest in peace

Tuesday, 28 April 2015



Over the past few months I have been inundated with requests for information, and explanations of the supernatural phenomena of someone being able to be in two places at once. This particular phenomena is not uncommon and has happened across the globe for many centuries.
 Although the most common type of reported phenomena is one person being “in two places at once”, it is has been reported that some people have been in more than two places at once.
The terms paranormal researchers use for this phenomena are pretty self-explanatory, they are as follows;

Bilocation: The ability, whether willful or passive, to be in two distinct places at once in physical form.

Multi-location: The ability, whether willful, or passive, to be in multiple locations at one single time, in physical form.

 The phenomena has been well documented over many centuries, and feature heavily in the writings of one of the Founders of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Fredrick W. H. Myers.
 Most commonly known incidents involve Saints or are of a religious nature. St Gerard Majella (1726 – 1755) was known for his ability to perform Multi-location. He could appear in many houses of the sick and dying, and hold the hands of the unwell as they passed over, this was particularly noted during the outbreak of the plague.

St Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639) is another Saint capable of Bilocation. Reported by his fellow friars that when they were sick in their beds, they would call out to him, and he would appear to them, even though he was known to be far away travelling.

St. Alphonsus Maria de’Ligouri  (1696 – 1787) was seen at the bedside of the dying Pope Clement XIV, when the Saint was actually confined to his cell in a location that was a four-day journey away.
Saint Padre Pio (1887 – 1968 ) is probably the best known Saint of the modern era to have the ability of bilocation. Saint Pio was seen flying in his brown robes during World War II, by American pilots as they prepared to drop bombs on San Giovanni Rotondo. As he appeared before the bomber, all attempts to release the bombs from the plane failed. Later, the Americans set up an airbase in nearby Foggia. One of the pilots from the bomber, stopped into the local friary, and instantly recognized the little friar in the brown robes he had seen flying through the air!

 Pio was asked numerous times about his ability to bilocate, and was not inclined to ever answer with conviction on how he possessed such skills from God, the closet he ever came to saying anything directly about was that it occurred “by an extension of his personality”
Other Saints said to have the ability of Bilocation include: Saint Severus of Ravenna, St. Ambrose of Milan, and St. Anthony of Padu.

 Reports of Bilocation span the annals of time, and it isn’t just Saints that have this supernatural power attributed to them. One of the greatest Mathematical and philosophical minds of the 1st century, Pythagoras, is said to have the ability of Bilocation. He was seen at the same time in both Croton and Metapontum – although all accounts of his life were written well after his death, so they can be easily seen as attribute by followers of the religion that he founded in Greece.

In England, school teacher, Teresa Higginson (1844 – 1905) actually kept a diary of Bilocations and in her time traveled through the ability to Africa, she was also devoutly Catholic
Bilocations are also attributed to Buddhist Monks, Hindu’s and to Indian Guru’s, who are often seen sleeping in one location, whilst praying in another.
 It would seem that anyone can practice Bilocation if they have the will. It differs from an "Out of Body Experience", as often the secondary image of the person, is actually as solid and coherent as the original source of the image and interacts in the physical world as per normal.
 Bilocation experiencers also differ from another supernatural occurrence, that of the Doppelganger (which I will be covering in another post very soon), as the Doppelganger can be an “Apparition of a living person” or sometimes, seen as an omen to a fore-coming death.

 It is very possible that many people could possess this unique supernatural skill, but in the modern world, research into it has waned dramatically, other than within the Catholic Church, which still keeps current records on phenomena such as this one!

St Gerard Majella – Patron Saint of Mothers: His intercession is sought for children, unborn children, women in childbirth, mothers, expectant mothers, motherhood, falsely accused people, good confessions, lay brothers and Muro Lucano, Italy

St Martin de Porres – Patron Saint of Social Justice, African-Americans, Barbers, Hairdressers and Race relations

St. Alphonsus Maria de’Ligouri – Patron Saint against arthritis and against scrupulosity. Patron Saint of Confessors, final perseverance, moral theologians, moralists, scrupulous people, theologians, vocations 

St Padre Pio of Peitrelcina – Patron Saint of the Unborn, Civil Defence Volunteers and Adolescents.

Further Reading and References