Miserachs, Xavier. Verges, 1964
Holy Land USA
Holy Land USA was once an 18 acre Bible-themed park located in Waterbury, Connecticut. The park had about 40,000 visitors a year until it closed in 1984 for renovations. Holy Land USA never opened back up again due to the death of owner John Greco in 1986. It has been abandoned ever since. The abandoned acres of the theme park have been watched over by groups of nuns for decades, but the place keeps getting more and more creepy as the park continues to deteriorate.
On top of the vandalism and eeriness the park gives off, a teenager was murdered on these abandoned grounds in 2010. Since then police records have shown that the amount of trespassers have been decreasing which just means abandoned Holy Land USA is as creepy and deserted as ever.
The Borax Man
￼In the late 1800s, borax mining was the principal business in Death Valley. Many Chinese laborers were employed in the borax mills. Lumps of borax called “cottonball” were scraped from the valley floor, crushed, and boiled in open vats made from adobe. This purified and crystallized the valuable chemical so it could be transported and marketed.
In 1885, a 7 foot, 7 inch tall man named Tong Yu was working at the Harmony Borax Works when he accidentally fell, or was pushed into one of the large open vats of boiling borax. Workers fought to pull him out. Tong’s entire body was horribly burned, and his flesh was deeply saturated with the caustic borax.
He was brought into the living quarters, and a doctor was sent for. By the time the doctor arrived the next morning, Tong Yu was nowhere to be found. During the night he must have wandered away alone, perhaps in an agonized madness.
Today, visitors to the park often report a tall, thin, distant figure on the salt pan under the moonlight. Sometimes the wind plays tricks on the ears, sounding almost like a mournful cry. In 1974 a party of park rangers chased the figure on foot but could not get close. The Borax Man seemed to melt right back into the plain he came from.
Oddity of the Week: The Weight of the Soul
Duncan MacDougall (c. 1866 – October 15, 1920) was an early 20th century physician in Haverhill, Massachusetts who sought to measure the mass purportedly lost by a human body when the soul supposedly departed the body upon death.
In 1901, MacDougall weighed six patients while they were in the process of dying from tuberculosis in an old age home. It was relatively easy to determine when death was only a few hours away, and at this point the entire bed was placed on an industrial sized scale which was apparently sensitive to the gram. He took his results (a varying amount of perceived mass loss in most of the six cases) to support his hypothesis that the soul had mass, and when the soul departed the body, so did this mass.
The determination of the soul weighing 21 grams was based on the average loss of mass in the six patients within moments after death. Experiments on mice and other animals took place. Most notably the weighing upon death of sheep seemed to create mass for a few minutes which later disappeared. The hypothesis was made that a soul portal formed upon death which then whisked the soul away.
MacDougall also measured fifteen dogs in similar circumstances and reported the results as “uniformly negative,” with no perceived change in mass. He took these results as confirmation that the soul had weight, and that dogs did not have souls. MacDougall’s complaints about not being able to find dogs dying of the natural causes that would have been ideal led one author to conjecture that he was in fact poisoning dogs to conduct these experiments.
In March 1907, accounts of MacDougall’s experiments were published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research and the medical journal American Medicine, while the news was spread to the general public by New York Times.
His results have never been attempted to be reproduced, and are generally regarded either as meaningless or considered to have had little if any scientific merit.