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8 Common Beliefs We May Have Wrong

Updated on October 18, 2020
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Rachel Wesley is an author and writing enthusiast. She publishes diverse work across the web and is always looking for her next adventure.

Never in human history have people collectively been so curious. It's commonplace now for someone to ask, "why?" or "how?" when it comes to the mysterious answers we've previously accepted.

Before, if something was odd or particularly unexplainable, the answer was to label it with the easiest possible solution. Many times, that was something supernatural.

Strange sounds and lights come from a swamp where people never go. Logical answer? Must be haunted. What else could cause lights or sounds where there are typically no people?

The actual reason? Swamp gas. Toxic gasses tend to be extremely flammable. When they come into contact with oxygen, they explode, creating a hovering ball of light. It isn't as much fun as Will-o'-the-Wisps, or ghost brides, but it is more likely.

A car rolls uphill while in neutral. That has to be spirits, right? That is the explanation generally given, and the only one they could come up with years ago. There are several 'gravity hills' spread throughout the world. In the United States alone, there is at least one in over half of the fifty states.

Reasons posed for such phenomena? Native American burial grounds. The ghosts of unfortunate folks that have died on or near the hill. Alien activity. Magnetic forces in the area.

The actual reason for cars rolling uphill? They aren't. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do and are rolling downhill. The trick is that the landscape around the hills gives off the illusion of going uphill. It is all an optical illusion. It is so visually convincing that there is no way to come to any 'scientifically' logical conclusion. The only way that we know this for certain is because we have the equipment to test and gauge it.

In older times, people didn't know all about strange, natural causes and had no means of obtaining a scientific explanation, so they came up with what they could. Most people, also having no way to verify or disprove their theories, went along with them.

That isn't to say that the supernatural doesn't exist, or that some occurrences we've long-since believed to be paranormal aren't. This is simply a way of explaining some common misconceptions of previously held beliefs. Make your own assertions and conclusions, though, using all the information now at your fingertips.

We, as humans, love a good story! It's fun to think of mysterious occurrences and find a commonality to discuss, but sometimes it is also nice to know the truth behind all the embellishments. Here are a few of the most commonly believed stories that we have likely all heard and perhaps even taken at face value, but aren't exactly what we thought.

The Winchester Mystery House Continues to Grow

The house that keeps mysteriously growing is the unique tagline commonly associated with this odd home in San Jose, California.

Nearly everyone has heard of the Winchester "Mystery" House by now. The home of Sarah Winchester. Grieving the loss of her husband, William, heir to the Winchester rifle legacy, Sarah moved from Connecticut to California. Upon arriving, she bought an eight-room farmhouse that over the next thirty-six years, she expanded.

The expansion wasn't typical. Instead, Sarah had an eccentric and intricate sprawling mansion commissioned. It is still considered the most unique home ever built, covering 24,000 square feet. She constantly drew up new plans and had strange designs incorporated.

It's crazy to think that even after death, Sarah Winchester's spirit is ordering construction on her already confusing home. The truth, however, isn't quite as haunting. The only continuation of construction on the home now is just restoration. The house is built so uniquely that to maintain it, constant restorative processes are always going on.

It was believed that Sarah spoke with the spirits of people killed with the Winchester rifle, the brand that made her wealthy. They instructed her to continually add on to her home to appease them.

Another version says that she constantly built ever-confusing zones, such as stairs leading nowhere and doors with walls behind them, to keep the angry spirits from catching up to her.

A more likely scenario is that she was highly impressionable in her grief that she believed the words of "psychics" and her own frail mind. After that, fear and guilt simply filled in the blanks.

It has also been speculated that Sarah wanted to be an architect, but wasn't able to for various reasons. Since she had access to money and a home, she set up designs and had them built.

More, still, claim she was just socially awkward and extravagant, so people came to their own conclusions about her. Angered that she was so wealthy while a depression roared, they thought she was callous and looked for ways to tarnish her name. She may, however, have continued the bizarre construction to keep locals employed.

Whatever her actual reasons were, Sarah Winchester was certainly an interesting person, and the mystery house is her legacy. While it doesn't continue to mysteriously grow, it is still a modern marvel to behold, and well worth a visit.

Lizzie Borden Killed her Parents

This is a popular and highly debatable tale, of which most is true. Most of it.

We all heard the nursery rhyme as children. "Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one."

The story says Lizzie Borden, a young woman in 1892, took a hatchet and killed her step-mother Abby. Later, when her father, Andrew, took a nap, she visited the same fate upon him.

What most people haven't heard though is compelling testimony to an entirely different killer.

The Maid, Bridget Sullivan, was and still is, a very strong suspect. She was not happy in her position and could have had help from a lover. There is little doubt in most people's minds that Bridget wasn't entirely truthful during the trial. Most believe she either sat Lizzie up for the murders or was in some way involved in them. By involved, she either helped someone, perhaps Lizzie, commit the murders, or she saw who did commit them and kept that to herself. No matter which way it went, Bridget Sullivan knew more than she said.

Another one of Andrew's children, Emma, could be to blame. While she had been away in town on the day of the murders, some speculate that she may have gone home and killed her parents before returning to town to complete her alibi.

Then there was Lizzie's uncle John, brother to Andrew's first wife, and Lizzie's biological mother, Sarah. He could have been upset over monetary issues. It is documented that Andrew and John argued the night before the murders over a joint venture that John was losing money on.

Things got heated, and both men were quite angry. John's alibi didn't hold up, and the room Abby was killed in was John's when he stayed with the family. There was also some speculation that John may have been having an affair with the maid, Bridget Sullivan. That could explain her odd behavior and unwillingness to give the full story at the trial.

The truth is that Lizzie was the easiest target, and Bridget pushed that issue as far as she could. This could be because she was deflecting blame from herself or her lover. Lizzie was acquitted and recent research into the famous murders now shows that she was possibly the most unlikely of all the suspects to have committed the deeds.

The Many Benefits of Acupuncture

People have been using acupuncture to relieve pain and other ailments for years.

The medicinal form of acupuncture, as we know it today, is vastly different from its believed origins. Based on historical documentation, the use of acupuncture can be traced back to the Stone Age. Given the lack of needles at the time, the primitive tools used were mostly sharpened bones and stones. They were used more for puncturing and draining abscesses and the like.

It wasn't until many years later that it became more of the treatment that we know today. When Chinese medicine began to focus on the body's energy, or QI (pronounced chee), they started looking for pressure points and ways to help the energy flow more freely and adequately through the body.

Modern acupuncturists claim that there are still specific points to place the needles and that the strategically placed needles can heal or treat several ailments and diseases. Some treatments include, but are not limited to, diseases, allergies, common and uncommon pains, sexual issues, sleep problems, weight loss, blood conditions, and circulation, among many others.

Many people swear by the use of acupuncture. However, recent studies have shown that there may be no real beneficial health rewards from the process. Clinical studies based on the normal use of acupuncture and a placebo treatment showed that the placebo often worked better.

There has been no proven evidence that acupuncture truly performs any helpful service, and can sometimes cause symptoms to worsen or new ones to appear. Acupuncture is also most often used in conjunction with other treatments, lending credence to the idea of it only working as a placebo.

Marijuana Destroys Brain Cells

This is one of the most controversial topics out to date because it has huge parties with heavy beliefs on both sides.

20 years ago it was taught and believed to be simple common knowledge that smoking pot would destroy brain cells, inevitably making people more stupid as time progressed.

Now however after a lot of research into the old ideas, it has been determined that not only is this plant not detrimental to one's brain cells but that it could possibly even help regrow them!

That's not all, research has also shown that Marijuana increases creativity, reduces stress, is an effective treatment for depression, and can help ease the pain of and possibly even cure several diseases such as cancer.

It was probably a lot easier to judge happy hippies as simply being stupid when no-one else was allowed to go have fun. That is very likely why it was thwarted into our brains that Marijuana is bad, makes us dumb, and is only used by losers.

Christopher Columbus Discovered America

Christopher Columbus discovered America - This is what all the history books teach, that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and he did, but even when he managed to accidentally come across what is now known as America, he thought he was in India.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that he still landed there, but research and well-documented findings now show that long before Columbus set foot on American soil, the Viking explorer Leif Erikson and his family were there.

They sailed from Greenland and landed in what is now America, staying and settling for at least ten years before claiming that the relations with the natives were just too hostile and going back home.

There is less documented, but still, possible links to the Spanish and the Irish also managing to "discover" America long before Columbus. And many even believe that there were Templars in America on religious quests that eventually named Columbus as a front man so they could remain in the shadows. It's another Illuminati, Free Mason thing.

Also on an interesting side note; America is actually named after Italian Cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci. The name America is derived from Americus, which is Latin for his first name, Amerigo.

Egyptians Created Embalming

While it is certainly held that ancient Egyptians truly brought the process into a new state; perfecting it, if you will, they were not the first to actually do it.

What is now known as Chile and Peru are among the very oldest known cultures to begin attempting to preserve the human body through embalming techniques.

This culture was the Chinchorro of the Atacama desert and they were making mummies possibly as far as 3000 years before Egyptians began the process.

It is believed that the process may have started when a child, the now oldest known mummy, died and was preserved. The grieving family may have been looking for some solace and a new invention came about.

It is interesting to note that the mummies from these parts were still cared for long after death. The process of embalming also consisted of removing internal organs and sometimes even flesh.

Chernobyl was the First Nuclear Disaster

While Chernobyl certainly holds the current title of the worst nuclear disaster in history, leaving two entire towns empty for over 30 years, it wasn't the first. In fact, it wasn't even the first that year!

We have been using nuclear power plants since the 1950s, the first real one to go live being in 1954. Shortly following that was the first actual incident in 1957 when a fire broke out in an Atomic bomb plant and destroyed its core.

In the years that followed there were several other deadly accidents that released radiation into our breathing air.

Some of the most noteworthy being:

The nuclear disaster of Kyshtym in 1957, where an attempted coverup actually resulted in a huge number of radiation sickness cases.

The Lucens Reactor in Vaud Switzerland in 1969, which led to the subsequent sealing off of the cavern it was housed in.

The Three Mile Accident in Pennsylvania in 1979 that actually opened up public awareness and concerns.

And the latest large nuclear disaster; Fukushima, Japan 2011 where an earthquake and a tsunami caused damage to 5 active reactor plants.

Stress and Fear can Turn your Hair Colors

We have all heard the stories of people being so stressed out that their hair turns grey, or so absolutely terrified that the hair on their head turns white or at least streaks white. The truth is a little less dramatic though.

Hair is essentially dead tissue and other than something physically altering it, such as excessive exposure to the sun or hair dye, it doesn't change color. How could it? It is dead remember, therefore it cannot be affected by emotions.

Studies have also shown that new hair growth is also not affected by stress levels or fear and that it is time, age and genes that will eventually decide the natural color our hair turns.

The only
things that have been shown to interrupt the natural coloring process are certain diseases and Chemotherapy, but if they go away the hair reverts back to the normal state and begins growing regular again.

Interesting fact: Pulling out a grey hair will not cause three more to grow in its place. It will just hurt because you pulled out a hair. It may grow back grey because that is the natural pigment in it now, but it will not bring friends along with it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Rachel Wesley


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