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So very little in cemeteries is creepy. On the other hand, much exists to appreciate and ponder. Strange roving lights in remote areas have long perplexed eyewitnesses. What possibly could be responsible for this odd nighttime phenomena? Wandering ghosts? Mischievous demons? How about fairies or elves? This Halloween, take your pick.

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All have at one time or another been suggested. Speculation has also considered some natural sources.

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Incredible tales have alleged the luminosity of certain avian animals. For instance, the ancient Roman historian Pliny reports in his Natural History Book 10, Chapter 47 of birds in the German forest of Hercinia that could glow at night. The support for such claims obviously remains weak. No scientific evidence exists demonstrating that birds are capable of bioluminescence. However, such a characteristic has been detected in other lifeforms. Among these are several types of fungi.

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Speculation has suggested that birds nesting in rotting trees could get light-producing fungi on their feathers. Thus, according to this line of thinking, parts of these winged creatures when airborne may glow at night. Bioluminescence is not the only possible natural explanation. Light does not have to be produced by a living organism; it can also be reflected from ambient sources. Keep in mind, too, that water from a pond or marsh would enhance reflective possibilities. Other explanations include atmospheric conditions, the combustion of released methane gas from decomposed organic material, and possible chemical reactions involving bacteria-like organisms called extremophiles 5.

In addition, one cannot rule out hoaxes and mischief-makers, optical illusions, and psychological factors such as poor memory recall, the power of suggestion, and overactive imaginations. An assortment of these—not just birds—are probably behind the mysterious lights. One could say that it remains hidden in the dark. Our winged neighbors are quite smart and resourceful. In seemingly taunting fashion, crows and rooks will perch on these figures. With creative glee and fondness, people throughout the world display them during harvest festivals.

Booklist ( by Genre - Fantasy) : NSW Premier's Reading Challenge

Several years ago, one guy in the United Kingdom actually crafted one resembling Lady Gaga! The best scarecrow is a living one. However, the Black Plague changed this. By the fourteenth century, due to a scarcity of people both young and old, British farmers had no choice but to post more effigies 1. Scarecrows likely did little more, though, than give birds pause.

The use of these figures, of course, goes back long before the late Middle Ages. Their forms varied from culture to culture. The ancient Greeks and Romans, for example, relied on wood-carved images of the agricultural fertility god Priapus 2. In many cases, ancient straw men also served ritual purposes. Some folks, however, have further proposed that the burning of effigies were sacrificial harvest rites.

These assertions, while influential, are not well supported. A slew of horror films have since followed, stumbling onto the big screen during recent decades. Straw man figures have entered the machine age.

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What remains of the stilted icon is just symbolic, a representation of the community harvest and simpler periods in agrarian history. Nevertheless, these traditional figures still make for cool Halloween decorations. She enters the apartment unit to collect her money, but quickly realizes that she has stumbled upon a gruesome murder scene.

Overcome with shock, the landlady screams. Then she faints. On the wall near a savagely mutilated body, a mysterious message is finger-scrawled in blood:. As the story progresses, we learn more, too, about the mysterious and ever-growing number of sparrows. These can include human or human-like beings. Animals, angels, and other beings, however, can also fulfill these roles. Swallows are also mentioned. And although ravens do not appear in the novel, King interestingly credits his inspiration to the sighting of a massive flock of crows , as well as to an H. Lovecraft poem 4. After midnight their shrill notes burst into a kind of pandemoniac cachinnation which filled all the countryside, and not until dawn did they finally quiet down 5. The types most often associated with the deadly flock are curlews , widgeons , golden plover , and wild geese 8. Many poets have expressed fascination with the legend. The creatures are the subject of Victorian poet Alice E. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory Shylah Cosmos's mission is to track the virus and remain unseen.

Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker - and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he's hit by a lucky shot, she can't stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she's exposed herself to the virus. There's no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they've found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything.

But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they've never felt more alive. I love everything she does' J. Ward, No. Feehan takes us next' Fresh Fiction. Nothing compares to the physical chemistry between an immortal and his life mate--or to the spellbinding thrills in a new Argeneau novel by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands A simple promise to protect her friend's infant son has turned Allie Chambers' existence upside down.

Caring for--and feeding--an orphaned vampire baby has been tricky enough. But as little Liam grows, so does his appetite. He needs more blood than she can personally supply. And when her attempts to steal from a blood bank go awry, Allie wakes up surrounded by doctors, cops Magnus never expected to find his life mate breaking into a blood bank. Clearly, Allie is already entwined with his world--in deeper, more dangerous ways than she realizes. A band of vicious rogue immortals is in pursuit, and Magnus' first task is to keep her safe. His second: to awaken her to mind-blowing pleasure, and hope she'll accept the life, and the passion, that only he can offer.

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh's darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, faces a new challenge that threatens the balance of the world.

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Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. A sundering. A grave.