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June 18, 2024 9 mins

Two curious residents brining change to their households are part of your tour through the Cabinet today.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to Aaron Manke's Cabinet of Curiosities, a production of
iHeartRadio and Grimm and Mild.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
Our world is full of the unexplainable, and if history
is an open book, all of these amazing tales are
right there on display, just waiting for us to explore.
Welcome to the Cabinet of Curiosities.

Speaker 1 (00:36):
What makes ghost stories so frightening is how powerless we
feel in the face of something that we can't explain.
We know how to deal with human conflict, but the
supernatural is a whole different story. After all, you can't
exactly arrest a ghost or sue a demon, at least
you can't in movies. In real life, it seems that
things are different, And in two thousand and nine, one

(00:58):
family didn't just try to their demons. They took them
to court. That year, a family living near the Holy
City of Medina in Saudi Arabia came to the head
of their local tribunal with a strange claim they wanted
the courts helped to settle a dispute with a genie. Now,
for Westerners, the word genie conjures up images of little

(01:19):
men living in oil lamps, granting wishes with magical powers.
The role these chaotic figures play in literature, religion, and
popular imagination is much more diverse than that. Though genies
were originally spirits worshiped by pre Islamic Arab people called Gin,
they appeared in folk tales, poems, and traditions from Eastern

(01:39):
Asia to North Africa. When Islams spread across the region
and the six hundreds, it adopted genies into its belief system.
They're even mentioned several times in the Quran. According to tradition,
gin or genies are spirits made of air that can
shape shift into shapes like dogs, snakes, or even human beings.
They're not good or evil, but ei genie is as

(02:01):
morally complex as a person, free to make their own decisions,
live a noble life, or cause mischief. Interestingly, many early
Arab poets credited their verses to genies, who they said
inspired them, much like ancient Greek muses. Some even claimed
to fall in love with them. For the most part,
though genies are seen as dangerous spirits. They might grant

(02:22):
you knowledge or talent, but they may just dis easily
bring you misfortune. In some especially dire cases, a genie
might stalk you, haunt you, or even possess your body,
which brings us back to our family living near Medina.
As strange things kept happening to them, the stories they
heard of malicious genies began to ring true. The family,

(02:43):
which wished to remain anonymous, had lived in the same
house for around fifteen years. Beginning in two thousand and seven,
they started to notice strange things happening inside their home.
At first, it was just odd, unexpected noises in the night,
noises made when there was nobody there, or sounds that
no human could have made. The family ignored it. It
was the house shifting, they said, or their imaginations, nothing

(03:06):
to worry about. Displeased that being ignored, whatever was making
the noise decided to escalate. One night, the family awoke
to hard thumps against the wall, which scared the children.
Whatever was attacking them had started throwing rocks at the
side of the house. Although frightened by the inexplicable attacks,
the family refused to leave their home of fifteen years,

(03:27):
so the genie decided to send them a message that
they couldn't ignore. Months into this strange activity, members of
the family began getting calls from strange numbers on their
cell phones. Someone or something was leaving threatening voicemails, and
the rock throwing picked up too, so that stones came
flying at the family members themselves whenever they wanted to

(03:48):
leave the house at night. The being that was attacking
the house didn't just want to disturb them, It wanted
to hurt them. Every member of the family had some
kind of experience with this unseen dangerous entity. As they
put the incident side by side, though, they came to
the same conclusion, a malicious genie must be the one
targeting the family. In many schools of thought in Islam,

(04:10):
genies are considered real intelligent beings beholden to these same
divine laws as humans. Looking for a solution, the family
figured that if genies must follow the same heavenly rules,
maybe they would follow the same earthly ones as well.
The family moved out of their house, went to their
local courts and petitioned to open a case. They were

(04:30):
going to sue the genie. Now it's not clear whether
or not the case made it through the Saudi court system,
but what we do know is that court officers opened
an investigation, and since every member of the family filed
the case instead of it just being a complaint by
one person. The court swore to fully examine the matter.
They'd find out what was going on inside the house

(04:50):
and whether the court could even make rulings on the
behavior of a genie. Hopefully, threatening legal action got the
family what it wanted. If not, then they most likely
went to trial, and for some lucky lawyer, all those
years of playing devil's advocate finally paid off. Deep down,

(05:21):
everyone wonders if they have what it takes to be
a hero. You can't really know for sure until your
metal is tested by fire. But when that moment of
crisis arrives, there is no hiding from it. You either
run freeze up, or you seize your destiny and act.
During World War II, for example, British civilians got more
than their share of opportunities to prove their heroism. In

(05:42):
the early years of the war, Germany tested the nation
with the Blitz, a mass aerial bombing campaign targeting London
and major industrial centers around the United Kingdom. Their main
objective was to interrupt the production of tanks, planes, and
other weapons, but it also led to the destruction of
some two million homes and forty three thousand, five hundred
civilian deaths. Despite the constant threat of attack, people went

(06:06):
about their lives as normally as possible, while contributing to
the war efforts in whatever ways they could. They literally
kept calm and carried on by walking to work past
the leveled houses of their neighborhoods, thus proving the stiff
upper lip that they were famous for. But underneath, everyone
waited in anticipation for the next attack, not knowing if

(06:26):
their home would be next. When the bombs fell, many
everyday citizens flew into action, putting out fires and dragging
their neighbors to safety. Still, one British civilian stands out
for saving her family not once, but twice during the war.
The first instance came in April of nineteen forty one,
during an attack on London. An incendiary bomb came crashing

(06:48):
through the roof of a London house. Rather than being
designed to explode, these bombs contained highly flammable materials that
would ignite upon impact, producing fires hot enough to melt steel.
But rather than fleeing, a young civilian named Juliana, who
lived in the house, raced straight for the bomb. She
didn't have any training with explosives or materials on hand

(07:09):
to help fight the fire that was starting to ignite.
But despite the obvious danger, she didn't run away. She
simply squatted over the bomb and urinated on it. And
I'm realizing right now that it might help you to
picture this scene more accurately to note that Juliana was
a dog, a great Dane to be precise, and by
peeing on that Nazi incendiary bomb, she saved her owners

(07:31):
from almost certain death that night. Soon after, she was
honored for her bravery with a Blue Cross medal. This
award has been used in the UK since World War
One to recognize animals for their bravery and selflessness. Initially,
it was most often given to horses who carried their
officers into battle compared to those warriors, though Juliana was
just a civilian, but she proved herself to be a

(07:53):
hero all the same. A few years later, she did
it again. In November of nineteen forty four, a fire
broke out in her owner's shoe shop. This time, Juliana
barked to wake her owners up, giving them time to
put out the flames. For this incident, she received her
second Blue Cross medal, but Sadly, Juliana died soon after
the war under nefarious circumstances. We don't know who was

(08:16):
responsible or what motivated them, but someone slipped poison through
her master's mail slot one night. Juliana ingested it and
passed away soon after. It's a tragic end for our hero,
but her story lives on. It came to lights in
twenty thirteen when one of the medals was sold at
an auction in Bristol, along with a watercolor portrait of

(08:38):
Juliana herself. They went for eleven hundred pounds, many times
above the asking price, and the impressed auctioneer concluded the
sale by praising Juliana's accomplishments, commenting that she was a
great Dane with a great bladder. But she's more than
just a dog who peed on a bomb. In a way,
she represents all the British citizens who rode out the blitz.

(08:59):
They may not have been soldiers, but they stepped up
when their country needed them. They fought the war with
every tool at their disposal, by collecting scrap metal, working
in factories and forming bucket brigades when their neighborhoods caught fire,
and in the same way Juliana fought the Nazis with
everything she had loyalty, courage, and one powerful stream. I

(09:26):
hope you've enjoyed today's guided tour of the Cabinet of Curiosities.
Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, or learn more about
the show by visiting Curiosities podcast dot com. The show
was created by me Aaron Mankey in partnership with how
Stuff Works. I make another award winning show called Lore,
which is a podcast, book series, and television show, and

(09:48):
you can learn all about it over at the Worldolore
dot com. And until next time, stay curious.

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