Modern vampires like Dracula may be dashing, but they certainly weren’t in the original vampire myths.
Archive Photos/ Moviepix via Getty Images
The past century’s vampires have often been a bit dashing, even romantic. That’s not how the myth started out.
Damaging a mirror was believed to invite the wrath of the gods in ancient cultures.
Fairfax Media via Getty Images
In both ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, reflected images were thought to hold mysterious powers. Damaging a mirror was believed to invite the wrath of the gods.
The comet SWAN was spotted in January by an ESA/NASA satellite. It is currently passing overhead and is visible from the Southern Hemisphere.
Are you hesitating to buy anti-Covid-19 toothpaste? 100 years ago, you might have found some miracle elixirs to protect you from Halley’s Comet.
Woodcut, circa 1400. A witch, a demon and a warlock fly toward a peasant woman.
Hulton Archive /Handout via Getty Images
The idea of organized satanic witchcraft was invented in 15th-century Europe by church and state authorities, who at first had a hard time convincing regular folks it was real.
A crop circle in Switzerland.
The internet has allowed pseudoscience to flourish. Artificial intelligence could help steer people away from the bad information.
Though illegal, fortune telling was only sporadically prosecuted. Here, two women set up tents at the 1913 Adelaide Children’s Hospital fete.
State Library of SA
In the early 1900s, fortune-telling provided entertainment, social connection and a job for some Australians. Its legal status made criminals of women, yet allowed others entry to the police force.
Knocking on wood may be a holdover from the pagan days of Europe, when tree spirits were believed to bring luck.
saiful bahri 46/Shutterstock.com
The curious history of a ritual meant to ward off bad luck.
A rabid dog’s bite can make a person seem to have animal characteristics.
Fear of a disease that seemed to turn people into beasts might have inspired belief in supernatural beings that live on in today’s creepy Halloween costumes.
Vera Petruk via Shutterstock
In medieval England using magic was a bit like drug use today: against the law and seen as immoral, but still widespread across society.
Seeing a ‘bright light’ was probably just your brain hallucinating.
The scientific explanations might not be definitive, but your brain is largely responsible.
A Halloween ghost.
Ghost stories are often about the departed seeking justice for an earthly wrong. Their sightings are a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives.
The blood moon myths are many and varied, but, at the end of the day, it’s just an eclipse.
This is the real reason you believe in superstitions.
Superstition holds that Friday 13th is the day to stay in bed and avoid taking risks. But it’s all in our heads.
Did the Chicago Cubs break the curse of the Billy Goat to win the 2016 World Series in baseball?
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Many sports enthusiasts are notoriously superstitious. Why is that so?
The dead wait to be ferried across the River Styx.
The Souls of Acheron (1898) by Adolf Hiremy Hirschl
These days they are scary, but for the ancients, ghosts could be quite useful.
Rebecca Naden / PA Archive/Press Association Images
And it's not all down to David Beckham...
The Newcastle Witch Hunt (1650), from Ralph Gardiner’s account (1655).
Witches in fiction fascinate but what were they really like?
What can concealed objects and engraved symbols tell us about our convict past?
The discovery of battered old boots, tattered garments, trinkets and dead cats concealed in the walls of historic buildings sheds new light on the lives of Australia’s early white settlers.
Serbian villagers fear vampires, but we have our own superstitions in the Anglosphere.
Drurydrama (Len Radin)
If the latest spate of news stories coming out of Serbia are anything to go by, the tiny and otherwise unassuming village of Zarožje has something of a vampire problem. Local legend tells of Sava Savanovi…