09 October, 2015

Creepy Coincidence Of The Indian Idols

Hindu Idols

Here's, what is described as, a creepy story. It all goes way back to 1910 and it's about the reports of a curious series of coincidences in connection with some Indian idols in possession of a Leicestershire vicar, who inherited them from his father. In the main I have copied the words as they were written in 1910.

In 1900 the reverend gentleman's brother was accosted in the New Forest by a Hindu, and asked the whereabouts of the idols. The native seemed thoroughly acquainted with the family history, but when he saw that his mission was unsuccessful he said that bad luck would accompany the idols, though he would not renew his demand for ten years.

Bad luck, according to the vicar, has certainly followed the idols and their owner, formerly his father, and now himself.

However, the plot did not begin to thicken till the ten years expired. Then the brother received two letters by the same post - one from India, simply saying, "Remember the judgement of the gods," and one from London, containing news of his wife's sudden and serious illness.

He had a bad fright, and, for the first time, divulged the story of his forest interview to the vicar. As for the latter, he attributes the events to the long arm of coincidence, but, as most people would feel in his place, he is anxious to be rid of his perilous possessions. Examples of the art of former periods, even 500 BC, may be preserved at too uncomfortable a cost.

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07 October, 2015

The Ghost Of Grandma Takes Her Revenge

rocking chair

A ghostly tale from Julia Roberts - no, not that Julia Roberts - but still a pretty woman

"My grandmother was born and bred in the house where she lived all of her life in Cornwall. She was a friendly but firm old soul with a large family and therefore had lots of grand and great-grand children.

From the age of about seventy-five, until she died at the ripe old age of ninety-eight, she always sat in the same corner of her living room, from morning until night, gently rocking herself in her old, wooden rocking chair.

Eventually granny went to where all good grandmothers go, after they have had their fill of rocking and life in general.

As the house was now empty, my father, after much negotiation with the rest of the family, decided to move into granny's house. He soon set about modernising things but somehow couldn't get rid of the old rocking chair which remained in the corner of the living room.

Finally my mother flipped and said the chair had to go. It didn't fit in with the other, more modern furnishings. Dad agreed to chop up it up. Not sure why, as he could probably have sold the chair, but that was what he decided.

Mum and dad were in bed the following night and heard strange creaks and noises from the attic immediately above their bedroom. In the morning, when dad had gone to work, mum plucked up courage and went to investigate the attic.

As she looked inside there was the old rocking chair and, as she watched, it started to gently rock backwards and forwards. It sent a chill up mum's spine.

In the evening dad admitted that he hadn't been able to throw the chair away for sentimental reasons and had therefore stored it up in the attic.

Mum reluctantly relented and the rocking chair was placed temporarily back in the corner of the living room, it's rightful place.

A couple of weeks later mum moved the chair to another room. After doing so mum and dad found that the chair would start to rock when anyone entered the room. Dad said it was just a coincidence, or the wind from the door being opened, but mum felt it was granny's ghost at work. She didn't feel comfortable and the rocking, when entering the room, went on for days and days.

Dad was under pressure from mum to sort it out. In a moment of bravado, or madness, he took the chair into the garden and started to break it up into pieces. Mum and I were horrified when we saw what he was doing, we rushed outside, but it was too late to stop him.

Nothing immediately happened, until we returned to the house and the living room. There, lying on the floor, was the new fireplace which had been recently fitted. It had come right away from the wall and lay shattered. Dad said it was Granny's Revenge.

Nowadays, when all is quiet, there is still sometimes a creak to be heard from the floorboards, in the corner where granny used to gently rock her chair. It's a constant reminder never to mess with granny because her ghost is always watching."

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06 October, 2015

The Natural Selection Coincidence Of Darwin And Wallace

Charles Darwin

The long arm of coincidence reached out between a sick man in England and another man lying ill with fever on the island of Ternate - that is, between Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.

The story begins at Usk, in Wales, where Wallace was born in 1823. Interested in flowers and plants from his childhood, he was introduced to the delights of watching animals and insects by a teacher of English at a Leicester school - H.W. Bates, later to be famous as an explorer and naturalist.

Together they watched and studied insects and plants; carried home their specimens and wrote up their notebooks. When the chance arose, in 1848 Bates and Wallace went to South America as professional collectors.

For four years Wallace travelled through the country of the Amazon and it's tributaries. But those years also brought sorrow. Unknown to Wallace his brother was also exploring the Amazon. Wallace, himself ill with malaria and dysentery, learned his brother had died of yellow fever.

On a journey back to England, the vessel in which he was travelling, caught fire. Forced to take to the lifeboats, there was no chance of saving his collection of skins and specimens. The results of years of work, hundreds of specimens and laboriously written records were destroyed. Wallace never quite recovered from their loss.

It was not until he lay in enforced idleness, recovering from a severe bout of fever, that the answer to many of his questions came to him. His ideas crystallised with the principle of Natural Selection.

Meanwhile In England, Charles Darwin, never well since his voyage in the Beagle, had evolved the same principle. After years of work he had decided to publish the theory. But before he could do so, from the other side of the world - from the island of Ternate - he received Wallace's letter setting forth identical ideas.

Darwin records his astonishment at the amazing coincidence of receiving the notes, agreeing so exactly with his own that the headings of some parts contained practically the same words.

In a letter to a friend, Darwin wrote: "I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my MS sketch, written in 1842, he could not have made a better short abstract."

Darwin felt he could not go on with his own publication in the circumstances. However, two other naturalists later persuaded him to have his own and Wallace's papers published jointly and presented before the Linnean Society. Eighteen months later Darwin published The Origin of Species, with which his name will always be associated.

Not so many people know that Wallace, working independently, reached similar conclusions at the same time. He is mostly know today because of  the Wallace Line - described by Wikipedia as: "... a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace that separates the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia."  His work was recognised by the award of the Order of Merit in 1910. He died in 1913.

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05 October, 2015

Even Doctors Have Incredible Coincidences!

This is another coincidence example from the Daily Mail newspaper by Pheobe Watkins from Kent.

With regards to coincidences, when I was working for a GP [General Practitioner - Doctor], he and his wife went to New Zealand for a holiday.

When he returned, he went to the patient files drawer, removed two and asked me to send them to the local health authority, as they were no longer on out patients list.

When I asked him why, he said that he had been waiting to go on a ferry boat trip In New Zealand when he heard someone call out: "Hello, Dr Brown."

It was two patients who lived in the village but had emigrated to Singapore. They were holidaying in New Zealand too!

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03 October, 2015

A Strange Broken Heart Coincidence

Broken heart

This story is, with thanks, from Audrey T. A broken relationship leads to a strange coincidence.

My long term partner and I parted, it seems he wanted other things from life - including other women.

I was very down but an old friend Julie, who I rarely see as she has moved to Paris, said she would be visiting me the coming weekend. This gave me a lift and I looked forward to seeing her.

I met up with her at London Heathrow airport and she said she was bursting to tell me something.

She told me what had happened. On the plane from Paris she was seated next to another woman and they struck up a conversation. It turned out that she was from Uxbridge, which is where I also live, and Julie asked her almost jokingly if she therefore knew me.

The woman stuttered in an embarrassed way and then stopped talking.

Arriving in Heathrow the woman suddenly turned to Julie and said something not very nice about me, which I won't repeat here. Julie ended the conversation but noticed that the woman was called Anne Burbridge* from her luggage label.

And Anne Burbridge is the name of one of the women who had been having an affair with my ex-partner.

The coincidence quite shocked us. What are the odds that Julie, who I see only perhaps once or twice a year, would be seated next to the woman who was - to put it politely - romantically involved with my ex.

I think that coincidences happen for a reason but I'm not sure of the reason for this particular chance meeting.

* the name has been changed,

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02 October, 2015

The Coincidence Made Her Shriek With Amazement

Woman Shrieks

I saw this coincidence story, from Russell Graham of Leeds, in the Daily Mail newspaper.

As to anecdotes about coincidences this happened to me twice and concerned the same person.

Growing up in the Fifties in Leeds, Mum and a neighbour would discuss their wartime adventures as teenage girls, including their GI boyfriends, and the name of one always stuck in my mind - Bob Bogdanowitz from Denver, Colorado.

Twenty years later, my wife's aunt and uncle were also reminiscing about wartime, saying they were still in contact with a GI they had befriended in Leeds - Bob Bogdanowitz, now a lawyer in Denver. My mother's stories all flooded back.

In 1992, my wife and I were lunching at The Cheesecake Factory in Marina del Rey, which is not far from Hollywood.

At the next table were two ladies, and we were fascinated by their gossip - one obviously worked in a film studio. But they, on hearing our English accents, were more interested in us.

The studio lady asked where we were from. We told her Leeds, and she confided she wasn't from Hollywood originally but from Denver, Colorado.

I replied that the only person I'd heard of from Denver, was a lawyer called Bob Bogdanowitz.

Her shriek, in a very loud American accent, of 'I know Bob Bogdanowitz!' must have been heard all over California - it certainly woke up the restaurant!

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30 September, 2015

Coincidences Following The Death Of A Loved One

Clement Freud
Clement Freud
Today's story is about death, coincidences and last words. It is the bare bones of an article by Emma Freud, which was published in the magazine, Eulogy, when it launched.

It's about the death of Clement Freud, the grandson of Sigmund, who was well known in the UK as a member of parliament, a knight, chef, broadcaster, author, soldier and raconteur.

Clement Freud died at the age of 84 while he was in the mid sentence of writing an article for The Racing Post. He had a massive heart attack and the last words he wrote were 'and in God's good time'.

His wife has stated that, in his 50+ years of writing, she had never known her husband make any reference previously to God.

At the time of his death his daughter, Emma Freud, was in Copenhagen and she received two calls from her mother trying to tell her about her father's passing. As her phone was switched off she phoned her mother back and heard the news.

Emma says, "I made a noise - a bit like a lion and a bit like a gasp. I instantly felt sorry that my mum had to listen to it."

Now comes the second strange incident. Emma's 13 year old daughter, who was two flights below her in a restaurant, heard her gasp. In Emma's words:

"My daughter incomprehensibly heard it and instantly ran up to me as fast as she could. No one else heard a thing, but something communicated itself down to the basement and she responded in a heartbeat."

In time the funeral and cremation were arranged and Emma decided to sing a song, to her own piano accompaniment, at the ceremony. She chose the classic I'll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places.

Following the cremation, when all of the mourners had left, Emma and her partner decided to walk down to their local ice cream parlour. As they opened the door the speakers were playing Billie Holiday singing I'll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places!

As Emma put it, "Obviously my dad hadn't gone to heaven, he'd gone to Gelato Mio instead. And while he was there he wanted to hear the song sung properly."

It does seem that such coincidences and happenings can be in abundance following the death of loved ones.

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