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Occam’s Razor

As a scientist, it is my job to collect and observe evidence as objectively as possible, and then to form hypotheses without bias or prejudice.

The deeper I go into my current case, the more disquieting it becomes, because it continues to point toward things that traditional science cannot explain.

There are too many details from the past that continue to haunt the present.

I find myself spending more and more time researching topics that would normally be described as “occult,” because every other “reasonable” explanation is proving to be inadequate.

I can invent elaborate and convoluted hypotheses to try to explain what I’m discovering; or, like a good scientist, I can apply “Occam’s Razor” — the principle that shorter, more direct explanations are the truest. I must consider that the stranger explanations in this case might also be the true ones.

I am returning to Helvetia to explore my new hypothesis.

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"Mad as Ophelia"

More thoughts on Dorothy Talbye, and other women like her:

"We simply don’t know what to do with the Medeas of the world, mothers who are as "mad as Ophelia," who suffer from psychosis and murder their own children. Execution? Life imprisonment? Commitment to a psychiatric hospital?"

Considering the state of psychiatric hospitals at the time, it is no wonder these women suffered so catastrophically.

Read more: “Mad as Ophelia.” http://laurajames.typepad.com/clews/2006/02/mad_as_ophelia.html

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Dorothy Talbye

My ongoing research into the cabin of Helvetia and its disturbing history has led me to some similarly troubling stories. Today I was reading about the case of Dorothy Talbye, who killed her three-year-old daughter (named, aptly, “Difficulty”) because God “told her to do it, and “to “save the child from future misery.”

Talbye may have been suffering from postpartem depression, or worse, but society at the time considered her to be possessed by the Devil. She was hanged in 1639.

Learn more: “The Dorothy Talbye Trial.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Talbye_Trial

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Unsettling Evidence

Evidence in my case study continues to mount … strangely.

Though the girls exhibit clear signs of a shared delusion — the creation of an imaginary mother figure who protected them during their years of isolation — still, there are still some hard-to-explain details I’ve found, frankly, unsettling.

1. Survival. Most of all: how were these children able to live in isolation for five years? Whenever asked how they were able to provide for themselves, they answer, only, “Mama.”

2. Language. All historical precedents indicate that the younger girl should not have been able to acquire language, even under the guidance of her older sister. In fact, the older child’s linguistic growth kept pace nearly as if she had not been in isolation — as if she’d been able to practice her language skills with adults.

3. Memories. Under regression hypnosis, the older girl is able to recount stories of events that happened before she was born — events which I have been able to confirm through my own research of local history.

Conclusion: Did the girls have contact with one or more adults during their stay in the Helvetia cabin? What if “Mama” is real, a local townsperson who for cared for the children but did not report them to the authorities?

I must investigate further.

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The Imaginary Friend of Raynham Hall

The children of Lord Charles Townsend were long thought to have an imaginary friend, whom they named “Dorothy.”

Their parents thought little of it, till a family friend, Captain Hubert C. Provand, snapped this photo in their home in 1936, and the children identified the apparition as their friend.

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Occultists have subsequently come to identify the image as the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, who lived in the house till her death in 1726.

Is this image real? And is it actually a representation of the children’s imaginary friend — a ghost??

Image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brown_lady.jpg

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Unoccupied Buildings, Shacks, and Cabins

The Internet is full of spotty catalogs of unoccupied buildings, shacks, and cabins, each one with its own history. As this site says, “Every building has a story, every building had a purpose.”

What is the story of Helvetia?

Read more: “Unoccupied Buildings, Shacks, and Cabins.”
http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=8a60138f-f1e4-4d4d-8303-b7b95326337e

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The Strange Case of Robbie Mannheim

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"Robbie Mannheim" (a pseudonym) was not strictly an abandoned child, but he had no brothers and sisters, and was raised in relative isolation by his aunt, Harriet, who entertained and educated him on an exclusive diet of Bible study and Ouija boards.

When Harriet died, Robbie suffered a trauma not unlike the traumas we see in abandoned children, and he used the coping mechanisms he had at his disposal: he tried to stay in contact with his dead aunt via Ouija board.

Famously, in Robbie’s case, things took a turn for the strange: wherever he went, people began to witness hard-to-explain incidents: objects began moving or levitating, unidentified voices could be heard, scratches began to appear on doorways and on his flesh.

Were these somehow the effects of trauma? And were the effects psychological, or supernatural?

Robbie’s “treatment” was turned over to a set of priests, who began a regimen of exorcisms that were later fictionalized in the movie, The Exorcist.

Image via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:English_ouija_board.jpg

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Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents: Considerations in the Emergency Setting

"Hallucinations, particularly as described in the adult psychiatric literature, have been viewed as synonymous with psychosis and as harbingers of serious psychopathology. In children, however, hallucinations can be part of normal development or can be associated with nonpsychotic psychopathology, psychosocial adversity, or a physical illness."

Read more: “Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents: Considerations in the Emergency Setting.” http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=96556

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Shared Psychotic Disorder

"Shared psychotic disorder, a rare and atypical psychotic disorder, occurs when an otherwise healthy person (secondary partner) begins believing the delusions of someone with whom they have a close relationship (primary partner) who is already suffering from a psychotic disorder with prominent delusions."

Read more: “Shared Psychotic Disorder.” http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Shared-psychotic-disorder.html