Architect Nick Drummond loves to renovate old houses and was told the century-old home he purchased last year in Ames, N.Y., had been built by a German baron who turned to bootlegging in the 1920s, but he was still surprised to find evidence within the walls on Oct. 9: dozens of bottles labeled Old Smuggler Gaelic Whisky. "We discovered multiple false walls and secret compartments under the floor in our mudroom," he told Lite 98.7. "The foundation walls and floors in the mudroom are lined with intact cases of 1920s whiskey." Drummond said auction houses and collectors have contacted him, speculating that the value of some of the bottles might range between $500 and $1,200.
One more thing to worry about
As many as 9 million wild pigs are roaming the United States — expanding from 17 states to at least 39 states over the past 30 years and causing $2.5 billion worth of damage each year to crops and domestic livestock, the Atlantic reported in September. Many of the feral swine are hybrids, a mixture of domestic breeds and wild boars called "super pigs" that multiply so fast "I've heard it referred to as a feral swine bomb," said Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the U.S. and Canada, government organizations are working to control the numbers; Montana has been especially vigilant, with a 24-hour hotline for residents to call when they see the animals.
Religious image reappears
In Guadalupe, Mexico, pilgrims are flocking to a parking lot, leaving candles and flowers beside a detailed portrait of the Virgin Mary that inexplicably reappeared in early October, having been drawn in chalk by an anonymous artist in 2007. Oddity Central reported the artist has confirmed that the drawing is the same one he created as part of a local festival, and the area is now blocked with traffic cones and watered periodically to make the image more visible. Said Felix Palomo, director of culture for the municipality, "Whether you believe in miracles or not, the question is how did this image reappear 13 years after its creation?"
Wedding to ghost called off
The New York Post reported on Oct. 14 that Amethyst Realm, 32, of Bristol, England, announced on British morning television that her planned wedding to Ray, a ghost she met in Australia two years ago, was off because he "kept disappearing" and started hanging around with a sketchy spirit group while they were on vacation in Thailand. "He'd disappear for long periods of time. When he did come back, he'd bring other spirits to the house and they'd just stay around for days," Realm said. She said the decision not to marry was mutual. "He just completely changed."
Snuggling on the farm
The Netherlands is home to a new trend in wellness therapy that promises serenity to those who try it: koe knuffelen (cow hugging). The BBC reported that a cow's warmer body temperature and slower heartbeat are thought to increase oxytocin levels in humans, reducing stress and promoting positivity. The practice began more than a decade ago, and now farms in Switzerland and the U.S. along with the Netherlands offer cow-cuddling sessions, which typically begin with a tour of the farm before resting against a cow.
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