On August 23, 1971 the first of many images appeared on the kitchen floor of Maria Gomez Pereira's home in Belmez, Spain. This first image was of a man and was so disturbing in its grimacing appearance that it prompted Maria to have the cement floor torn out and replaced. A week later, the second of what would be many unique portraits made its ghostly impression on the floor, which the family also - understandably - wanted destroyed. Hearing about the faces, the Mayor of Belmez had part of the floor removed and saved to try to determine what was causing the ghostly faces.
Under the slab, human remains from a medieval cemetery were found and properly reburied off the site, however two weeks later yet another face appeared on the new floor. More and more faces in increasingly elaborate arrangements came and went on the floor until the family finally sealed the kitchen, however this simply resulted in more faces appearing elsewhere in the house. By now well publicized and attracting the attention of investigators, the phenomena was intensively studied, including the placement of microphones which reportedly picked up sounds inaudible to the human ear that seemed to be muttering strange languages and agonizing moans seemingly choreographed to the grimaces and painful contortions of the faces on the kitchen floor.
Maria died in 2004, however the faces have continued, calling into question theories that the old woman had been faking the whole affair. Further, chemical studies of the cement have been somewhat unsatisfying, with multiple potential explanations being advanced, from acids to paint but none of them really seem to cover all aspects of the phenomena.
The annals of the paranormal are replete with images of people on inanimate objects. From Christ himself to Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, we recognize faces in patterns and often attribute these images to a wide variety of people. Most of these can easily be explained by wishful thinking and recognizing patterns among the chaos, but sometimes a story can be attached to the phenomena that might suggest that the spirit of a disembodied human may be able to manifest a picture of themselves that the living can see.
Recently, the phenomena of ghostly images appearing on objects has had a resurgence in an unlikely place. Rosemont is a busy Chicago suburb, most famous for being home to O'Hare International Airport and a dizzying array of hotels. The city has also recently been the focus of an uncharacteristic burst of paranormal phenomena. Of course there was the infamous O'Hare UFO, which continues to gain interest worldwide. But there is another incident, one presumably of a very different nature.
Located outside the Willow Creek Club on Higgins Road is a sycamore tree that some claim bears the face of Donald E. Stephens, the Mayor of Rosemont for 51 years, who died last April of stomach cancer. Is it the image of the former mayor, or just a product of the human mind's ability to recognize a face among random patterns in the bark of a sycamore? Perhaps Mark Stephens, son and acting Mayor of Rosemont after the death of Donald Stephens, said it best. "He told me, you screw things up, I'm gonna haunt you". Let's hope Donald Stephens is simply saying hello, rather than making a political statement from the grave.
Paranormal Face Apparitions