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In honor of Halloween this weekend, we scared up some classic spooky ScienceBlogs posts. Brian Switek of Laelaps discusses ghosts, UFOs, psychics, witchcraft and other “paranormal rot” many people use to explain “rather ordinary phenomena.” On SciencePunk, Frank Swain contemplates the mathematical improbability of vampires due to sure vampire population explosion. However, Frank also points out “Efthimiou’s conjecture doesn’t rule out the possibility of vampires–just that the outbreak hasn’t happened yet.” The not-so-obvious origins of witches flying on broomsticks is covered on Terra Sigillata, where Abel Pharmboy explains how witches of the Middle Ages administered hallucinogenic concoctions to “mucus membranes of the rectum or vagina” using a broomstick. Witches’ ability to “fly” originated from the hallucinogens that “tended to cause sleep, but with dreams that involved flying, ‘wild rides,’ and ‘frenzied dancing.'” Neurophilosophy writes about the mysterious phenomenon behind “a thousand new cases of zombification reported every year” in Haiti, and describes the ethno-botanic makeup of “coupe poudre,” a white powder Haitian and Creole folklore attributes to “zombification.”

Links below the fold…

  • On the Origin of Witches, Broomsticks, and Flying on Terra Sigillata
  • Are vampires a mathematical impossibility? on SciencePunk
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