5 Ridiculous Ancient Beliefs (That Thrive on the Internet)

Here in the information age every one of us is a few keystrokes away from all the discoveries and wisdom that built modern civilization. Yes, long gone are the dark days of magic and mythology, when men worshiped the stars and paid witches and warlocks to cast spells on their enemies...

Oh, are they?

Oh, wait. Sorry, it turns out the witches and warlocks just moved their operation to the Internet. And raised their prices.

All you have to do is pull up your browser and search for...

#5. Voodoo

Are you suffering from ill fortune? Is life getting you down? Want revenge on your boss? The power of Voodoo is here to help!

What's that? You think poking Voodoo dolls to get back at your enemies is a ridiculous ancient tradition practiced only by low-budget horror movie villains with fake accents? You're behind on the times, friend. This is 2009, and a quick look at suggested Google searches shows the Voodoo business is a boomin':

There are Voodoo news groups, Google groups, online shops, how-to guides, you name it. Holy crap! How do we get started?

Well a quick check of the Wikipedia page lets us know that we would need a gris-gris, or voodoo doll, for most spells. Pausing only to take a quick shot of our own brand of cure-all, Jack Daniels and sterno on ice, we sprang into action. Googling Voodoo dolls soon got us all the information we needed.

Corporate gifts?

You can buy pre-consecrated Voodoo dolls online, complete with an instruction manual on how to use them, for $20 to $100. What could be more convenient for today's frenetic lifestyle?

Meanwhile, Voodoo spell kits are also popular sale items. Costing $38 a pop, they are one-shot spells that have to be disposed of within 24 hours of casting, though this clashes a bit with the one year unconditional guarantee offered by the site.

What, you still think this whole thing is a money-making scam for stupid people? Then, you haven't read the testimonials!

Hmm... we hate to be pedantic here, but the "retrieve a lover" spell didn't actually work, right? You got a new one instead. Eh, probably just as good.

See? For only $200 worth of spells, her lover came back to her! Or, the ex realized he was going to have to go through the whole "find a woman to have sex with" thing again and cut his losses.

Nearly every page started with a stern warning not to take this lightly. Howtodothings.com gave us this particularly useful bit:

"Voodoo dolls are not something to take lightly. Whether you believe in the faith behind the tradition of making Voodoo dolls or not, you may want to take precautions before making these dolls."

No, it never explains what the precautions are. Hell, all we're doing is casting magic spells here, surely a little common sense will guide us through!

#4. Ghost Hunting

Don't believe in ghosts? Well have you thought maybe it's because you're just not very good at hunting them? Fortunately the 21st century has given us advanced ghost-hunting tactics that our primitive, superstitious ancestors would never have dreamed of!

Type "Ghost h" into Google and it'll take over from there:

The logical place to start, we found, was with The International Ghost Hunters Society. Started and run by David and Sharon Oester, they offer a three-part certification course on ghost hunting.

Yes, certification. Look, if you walk into the Human Resources office of a major ghost hunting firm, you better have a certification in hand or you're getting laughed out of there.

Fortunately, for only $250, that certification can be yours! If that is not sufficient, an extra $50 will get you the course materials to become a certified dimensional shifter. Which... actually sounds more useful (you'd be God, right?)

But don't even think about going into the field without the right tools, unless you want to end up with severe ghost... burns or whatever happens when you mishandle ghosts (if you're prepared you won't have to find out, will you?).

Head on over to the Ghost Hunter Store and pick up some pieces from their mind-boggling selection of equipment. There's a Ghost Meter for only $29.99:

Holy water for just $3.50:

And Geiger Counters for detecting, uh, ghost radiation:

Once you've hunted down your ghost, don't forget to take some incredibly blurry pictures for the Internet!

#3. Astrology

Astrology has been around pretty much as long as humanity has. It is the study on how stars influence the daily lives of one species on a tiny planet 10,000 light years away.

When we saw there were 39.6 million results for astrology...

...we were encouraged. After all, that's fewer than the 40.2 million you get for "astronomy." Then we noticed that "astrological signs" had 57 million.

Hell, you can get 4.5 million on "sexual astrology" alone:

So how can you unlock the amazing power of astrology? Well you can get a series of qualifications from the International Academy of Astrology at $100 and up per course. That's cheaper than a community college!

But of course this is 2009, and if you can't use the power of your PC to help you find love in the stars, why the hell do you even have it? Luckily, you can buy "professional" astrology software for just $400.

Damn, that seems kind of pricey when we can get Astrology for the Nintendo DS for just $19.99.

Hell, for that matter The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need is just $13.57 on Amazon. But be warned. From the customer reviews comes this scathing two-star critque:

"...the section on synastry, or chart comparison, which is bad to the point of being harmful."

That's right. Do astrology wrong, and the stars will give you bad advice.

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