That’s right – today’s informational, and always creepy, article is a double feature! Rather than give you the usual information about a single story, you get the grace of two separate, yet equally bizarre, stories. If you were going to do some Halloween costumes shopping, wait some time and feed your mind. So let’s not waste anymore time or words and get right to the good stuff. First up, the brain-eating amoeba.
On August 17th, “Naegleria fowleri,” or the brain-eating amoeba, claimed its second American victim this month. Christian Strickland, a 9-year-old, contracted an infection after enjoying some time at a fishing camp in Virginia, then passed away due to meningitis.
Naegleria fowleri is a parasite found in warm, stagnant water, such as freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “[Naegleria fowleri] enters nasal passages…and migrates to the olfactory nerves, eventually invading the brain.” The parasite always causes meningitis, and the symptoms often include fever, nausea, stiff neck, and a front headache.
The mortality rate for individuals affected by Naegleria fowleri is 98%. But do not go freaking out: Naegleria fowleri is a rare parasite. Since 1998, only 65 individuals have perished from the brain-eating amoeba. You have a better chance of being struck by lightening than having your mind consumed by this microscopic monster. As long as you’re not sipping up swamp water, you should be fine.
There is a new trend sweeping through Scottsdale, Arizona, the place where money grows on trees and the women are made of enough plastic to be considered inhuman: teenage exorcists. Reverend Bob Larson of Spiritual Churches International has started a school specifically designed to train, educate, and arm exorcists. While teenage schoolgirls are not his target audience, he has this to say on the matter: “We have found that our female, teenage exorcists are particularly effective at curing the possessed.”
The girls attend exorcist classes, reading from Bibles and clutching crosses. These classes teach them the art of ‘curse-breaking,’ where they release individuals from the devil’s bonds. The more experienced girls teach the novices how to draw demons out of an individual using a list of demon names. These names help to provoke the demon, for there needs to be a sign of weakness for the exorcism to start.
“People do look a bit surprised when I arrive,” said Brynne Larson, daughter of Reverend Bob Larson. “When people call for an exorcist, they don’t picture a 16-year-old high school girl.”
Accompanying these girls on their exorcisms are two strong males, who will hold the possessed victim down, allowing the girl to draw the demon out. Since there is no protocol for how the exorcism has to take place, the girls often improvise. The tools within their exorcism tool kit – a Bible, holy water, and a cross – are the main means of driving demons from individuals.
“It can be dangerous,” said Brynne. “I have performed exorcisms on three hundred pound, six-foot-five men, and they can get violent.”
“It’s not unusual to be sworn at, spat at, I’ve even seen projectile vomit,” said Savannah Scherkenback, 19, one of the latest graduates from the exorcism school. Then she had this to say about her personal life: “I think Harry Potter and Twilight are instigators of evil. They nullify morality and just serve to hook people in with evil. I don’t watch any television at all. I’m much too busy praying and fighting the devil.”
It’s good to see that even brainwashed teenage exorcists believe that Twilight is evil. Way to go, girls!