Ominous Origins

Join me on a journey into the origins of the unknown. Every legend, every beast, and every myth has it’s beginnings, and it’s time we take a look into the Ominous Origins of our mysterious history.

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True Crime | Wanda Beach

November 27th, 2020

Who doesn't love a little true crime now and again? I know I sure do, which is why every so often I like to toss on into the circuit of episodes, and this one will be a two parter, so that's even better, right? Today we look at in incident that took place in the 1960's in Australia, and it focuses on a pair of teenage girls who would often frequent a beach known as Wanda beach. It was a bit of a trek from their home, a couple of train rides away, so whenever they went, they were sure to make a day of it. One fateful day in January of 1965 Marianne Schmidt and her four younger siblings, accompanied by Marianne's friend, Christine Sharrock left for Wanda beach. When they arrived around 11am, the weather was so bad that the beach was closed to the public.

They weren't going to let the day go to waste however, and made their way to some rock bluffs to get the most out of their time. They swam and picnicked, and hiked to their hearts content. They then made their way to some sand hills before the younger children wanted to head home. Marianne and Christine left the kids there to go fetch their belongings at the rock bluff. That was the last time the girls were seen alive. The case is heart wrenching, as any case involving kids are, and it's only made more upsetting by the complete mystery shrouding the case. In this episode we look at the beginnings up to the investigation, which I'll save for you until next week. It one we may never get answers to... or will we? You'll just have to listen and see, and keep an eye out for next week's episode as well which will have the final outcome of the case.

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Werewolves | Peter Stumpf

November 20th, 2020

We're back with some more werewolf stuff! I have an interesting real life case today, and a little tidbit about a potential werewolf skull. The skull in question was found in a box, wrapped in chains, in Macedonia, which apparently has a rich and very long history of werewolves in their culture. It was an interesting find, but certainly not the main topic of today's episode. The main event comes to us in the form of a German man by the name of Peter Strumpf, who in the 16th century, believed himself to be a werewolf of sorts causing him to go into homicidal rages.

Stumpf was a respected and known member of the community in Bedburg, Germany - not far from Cologne. He was fairly wealthy, and owned a farm where he lived with his kids - his wife had died sometime earlier. Of course, nobody is going to suspect him of the terrible crimes that were committed, in fact, nobody was. It was believed everything that happened was caused by wolves - ironic. But what were the crimes? They ranged from cattle mutilations to human mutilations, and everything in between. Now, why did people think this was the doings of a wolf, or wolves? Well, locals would find bits of bodies: legs, arms, organs, in the countryside. Never did they think it was a human's doing.

It wasn't until a hunting party got fed up with the wolves ravaging their livestock that they went in search of said wolves. It wasn't long until they thought they had their culprit, but when their dogs cornered something, that something turned out to be Peter Strumpf. His story was incredible and near unbelievable, and his trial, and ultimate execution were the things of nightmares. For all the details you'll have to listen to the episode!

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Werewolves | King Lycaon

November 13th, 2020

So here we are, I can't believe it's taken me this long to cover this all too familiar topic: Werewolves. But I fought with the best place to start, so I figured why not right at the beginning? In Greek Mythology there was a figure who went by the name King Lycaon - and the name should be a dead giveaway as to what he became. The king was the ruler of Arcadia before it was called as such, and he did a very bad thing. One day, he decided to do something that would royally anger Zeus, which is never a smart move. For his punishment, he had lightning bolts (naturally) thrown by Zeus to demolish his home, among other things. But that wasn't enough, and he was eventually cursed to be a wolf that resembled his human appearance. 

That's if you belief Ovid's recollection of the story. Some say it was actually some of Lycaon's 50 sons that did the deed, damning their father. In the end though, the result was the same and Lycaon was transformed into a wolf, at least for nine years. Should he not consume human flesh within that time, he could have his humanity restored. The question is, could he fight his primal urges, or succumb to them. It's an interesting story, and one that has a ton of backstory, but thankfully I was able to narrow it down, and condense a lot of it down for you. 

There were stories around the same time, if not a little before of Ishtar turning one of her lovers into a wolf in the Epic of Gilgamesh, but that's a topic for another day. Ultimately, the werewolf legend is one that transcends time, and has carried on through the ages. 

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Aliens of Old | The Astronaut of Casar Stele

November 6th, 2020

Aliens! They're fun, right? I do love talking about aliens, both sightings and encounters. From theories to conspiracies, I don't think there is anything as fascinating as a good UFO sighting or alien encounter. But what about where it all started? Have we been visited by aliens in the past? How about in ancient times? Are there legitimately ancient aliens out there? Some would have you believe that's the case, other's poo-poo the idea. Regardless of your feelings on the topic, there are some interesting cases and artifacts out there that might suggest we have been visited long ago.

Enter the Astronaut of Casar Stele. This stone etching exists in the southern part of Spain in a place called Casar, clearly. The depiction on the stele shows a humanoid type drawing, with a large misshapen head as well as bulbous shoulders. Many write it off as nothing too crazy, however there is a bit of text on the stele, which has yet to be deciphered today, which has many scratching their heads. With that there are some little known and under-documented languages from that region, during that time that may hold hints. Despite having an idea of what language the text is written in, nobody has been able to translate it.

Does this lead to definitive proof that this is indeed an alien artifact? Did a local at the time create this based of an extra-terrestrial that they had seen? Maybe. That's all I can really say. The chances of it depicting an alien are slim, but not zero. Personally, I do sorta hope it is an alien - that would just be plain cool. For more info, you'll just have to listen to the episode!

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Ominous Interviews | Meg Smith

October 30th, 2020

If you're a long time listener of the show, you know I love a good interview. From time to time, I have people contact me, or I reach out to them to try to get them on the show, and when that happens, I get all giddy. Learning about people and their experiences is one of the best ways to grow as a person, so when Meg Smith came on for an interview, I was excited. Meg is an award winning journalist out of Lowell, Mass. and is an accomplished writer and poet. She's recently released her latest collection of short stories called The Plague Confessor. 

Writing and creativity has been a massive part of who she is her entire life, which is obvious when she self published a collection of stories when she was just 13 years old. Her latest collection dates back years and years, a true collection of experiences and tales that leave the reader wanting more. She talks to me about her favorite stories in the collection, her inspirations and her processes. She also touches on the name, The Plague Confessor, and what it means, especially given the time in which it was released. 

Outside of her latest publication, Meg also served on the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac festival committee, she enjoys dancing, and is an avid researcher - which I guess comes with the territory of being a journalist! Her passion is palpable, and you can just feel how much she loves her craft by the way she talks about it. Meg's latest book, and her contact information can be found below. I encourage you to check out publications, as well as reaching out to her, as she is a wonderful person with whom to chat!

The Plague Confessor

megsmithwriter.com,

on Facebook at www.facebook.com/megsmithwriter,

and on Twitter at @MegSmith_Writer

The History of Demons | Asmodeus and the Hierarchy

October 23rd, 2020

The history of demons is back! Yes, my favorite topic and segment on the show returns this week with a look at the powerful Asmodeus and the hierarchy of angels and demons. We also take a look at Charles Berbiguier, a man with a sorted past filled with demons. But let's start with Asmodeus! He was a demon, of course, who was also known by Asmoday, who was often portrayed as beast with three heads, a man, a bull, and a ram. He was a handsome fella to say the least. He's also regarded as a powerful demon, even being considered as one of the rulers, or kings of the nine hells. He was also a demon obsessed with a woman by the name of Sarah, who he forbade from ever marrying - in fact the jealousy became so much that when she did marry, he simply killed her husband. This happened seven times by many accounts. 

The hierarchy of the angels and demons can be broken down into nine areas, or choirs, with three different branches. The top sphere consists of those closest closest to the Throne of God, to the lower sphere, which consists of those closest to the physical realm. This hierarchy was created by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in his work the Celestial Hierarchy in the 4th or 5th century.

Lastly, we have Charles Berbiguier, whose name I have a hard time pronouncing, so I anglicized the crap out of it. He was an interesting character who believed to have been haunted and tormented by demons of varying degrees. He also claimed to have communed with said demons on the regular, before publishing his very own autobiography, which detailed many of these encounters. Many scholars of the time dismissed him to a point, yet his work would be the central point of research and inspiration for other scholars in the field. It's all about interpretation, I suppose. Whether Berbiguier was honest in his claims, or simply mentally disturbed is up for debate. But, if you want to know more, feel free to listen to he episode in full! 

Also! Don't forget to check out, and support if you can Elizabeth McCafferty's project on Indiegogo, HERE.

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Sea Monster | The Kraken

October 16th, 2020

"Release the Kraken!" Famous words once spoken by a truly great and honorable man: Liam Neeson. But it's time to release the real Kraken on this episode of the podcast - that kraken is also Liam Neeson... No, though I kind of wish... Maybe in the future. But in all seriousness, today we look at one of the most well known mythological creatures to ever swim the seven seas. Like many historical monsters, the Kraken has it's foot - or tentacle - firmly planted in reality. While the first mention of the Kraken is noted way back in the 13th century, tales of its monstrous hunger are told throughout history. The Scandinavians were the first to recognize this strange and massive beast, but it has since been integrated into lore throughout the world - even being the focal point of a couple of mid-2000's movies.

The beast in question has been cited as being over a mile in length, and sailors would often mistake it for an island. It's reach was legendary, and was able to tackle entire ships, dragging them to the depth below, and if that failed, it had another trick up its sleeve. Using its mass to its advantage, the Kraken would cause massive whirlpools, which, in turn would bring its prey (the ship) to Davy Jones' Locker. It would be an unfortunate way to go, no doubt. However, even though it is most often attributed to be a squid or an octopus, the Kraken was also described as being crab-like. Weird.

Of course, there most likely isn't a Kraken swimming the world's oceans. What is out there are giant squids, which might be the basis of the Kraken claims. However, the giant squid aren't one to be found in the Scandinavian region, so that theory might be a bust. What we do know is that there were fossils discovered of a large sea creature that was demolished and dragged along the ocean by a larger sea creature that existed roughly 250 million years ago. The way the fossils were found suggested that it was crushed by something akin to tentacles. So, maybe the Kraken did actually exist; but as always, for more you'll just have to listen.

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Enochian | The Language of the Angels

October 9th, 2020

In a time in which the world could use a little magic, we have the Enochian language. Originally thought to be the language by which Adam originally spoke - it was also the celestial language, the language of the angels; God's language. For centuries, it was believed that the Enochian language was lost forever. People had heard of such a thing, but, ultimately it was either legend, or simply lost to time. It was thought the closest we had to the language was Biblical Hebrew - that was until the 1500's when one John Dee and his colleague, Edward Kelley were supposedly chosen as prophets to learn the the lost language; the first since Enoch to get such a privilege. 

Over the years, again, it was thought that Dee's work was gone, as well as the illustrations from Kelley. A group known as the Golden Dawn took the reigns and continued their research into the Enochian language and, in turn, magick. Though, I don't want to give more than that away. What you need to know, is that a lot of magick beliefs spread from the Enochian mythos - Wicca draws from it, as well as tarot. It's incredibly fascinating to read about this lost language, and how it has evolved over the years, and how influential it is to millions who may not even be aware of it.

On a personal note, I've been quite interest in different forms of witchcraft and magick for as long as I can remember. What I've learned as that these words, runes, spells, sigils, and so on, have the potential to be very powerful. A lot of it is about belief, a lot of it is about self-empowerment - and whether the magick itself is real, self-empowerment and belief are never bad things. But to learn more about the language of the angels, be sure to give the episode a listen.

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International Podcast Day Featuring the Morbidly Beautiful Network

September 30th, 2020

Back in 2014 the idea was had to celebrate something that is incredibly close to me, and thousands, if not millions of others around the world. That idea was to celebrate podcasts, podcasters, and podcast listeners with International Podcast day. As somebody who dedicated more than a decade to broadcasting, and indeed podcasting, it is quite special that it is being celebrated in this way. Podcasts have the ability to inform, entertain, and be a voice for somebody who might not have one otherwise, and that is something quite special. 

As I mentioned, I started podcasting back in 2009 with two other friends of mine. We talked about video games, and it holds some of my fondest memories. We had a blast, however like most good things, it didn’t last. But it did spark my love for the platform, especially after falling out of radio after a year or so in the industry. From there I went on to start the Severed Scissors podcast, which was more or less just a stream of consciousness. That evolved into the Horror Shots podcast, which now lives on as this cast, the Ominous Origins podcast. 

But enough about me. This day isn’t about me, it’s about all the wonderful podcasts out there, and I was in a very unique position to talk to many other podcasters about their projects and experiences. The Morbidly Beautiful website was gracious enough to have me on their network over a year ago, maybe close to two now, and since then the group has grown a ton bringing on many excellent podcasts, each with their own individual styles and tastes. 

We have six different casts on the network, including mine - as well as two audio drama style shows as well. I was lucky enough to sit down with members of each of the Morbidly Beautiful podcasts in one massive group interview that went off, surprisingly without a hitch. From some of our newest ones in Not Your Final Girl, and The Best Little Horror House in Philly, to a couple of long time staples in I Spit on your Podcast and They Mostly Podcast at Night; and of course a brand new one not even yet announced in Bloodhound Pix. Each of them have their own stories and voices; challenges and accomplishments, and getting to have them all share their insights was an incredible adventure.

Each one of these shows can be found on the Morbidly Beautiful Network and supporting them all by listening, subscribing, and leaving reviews is beyond appreciated. There’s never a dull moment, never a lonely second when you have access to a podcast, so if you haven’t heard one or any of these shows yet, do yourself a favour and get on that!

Not Your Final Girl

Best Little Horror House In Philly

I Spit On Your Podcast

They Mostly Podcast At Night

Bloodhound Pix

Mysterious Apps | Randonautica

September 25th, 2020

Earlier this year, as if things couldn't get any crazier, an app was released. The app in question, which hit mobile stores in January was called Randonautica. Now, what makes this app so interesting is the fact that it claims to read your mind, kinda, not really. But rather your thoughts and intensions help determine what happens. The story goes that if you think of something while activating the app, it will give you coordinates to a location nearby where you find the thing you're thinking of. In other words, if you think of death, it will lead you to just that. And that's exactly what happened when some young adults from Seattle decided to try it out and document their adventure on Tik Toc. They followed the coordinates and came across a suitcase washed up on shore, and upon further investigation, they discovered the suitcase contained not just one, but two dead bodies.

That alone is pretty definitive proof that this app works, right? Well, maybe not. It's possible that that it was pure coincidence, in fact that was most likely. There is no legit science behind what's going one, and perhaps it's nothing more than confirmation bias. Had that group thought of money, or happiness, would it have still sent them to that location? Most probably. Nevertheless, it seems that for every "confirmed" success, there are dozens of failures. 

Is the app legit? Well, you can try to figure that out for yourself.

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