Anorak News | The headline-grabbing statues that moved, drunk, wept and even sung

The headline-grabbing statues that moved, drunk, wept and even sung

by | 25th, June 2013

THE Spinning Mummy of Manchester is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame after being filmed – using time-lapse photography – rotating 180 degrees in its glass case. The Egyptian statuette in the Manchester Museum is said to have attracted the attention of numerous experts, including the inevitable Brian Cox, and there has been “talk” apparently of an ancient curse.

We here at Anorak are adopting our usual skeptical position until a rational explanation emerges.

In the meantime, it is worth remembering other headline-grabbing statues that have moved before. Hell, they’ve drunk, wept, and even sung. And there is usually a perfectly sensible explanation…

1973: Japan


When statues ‘weep’, the chances are that the lachrymose protagonist will be the Virgin Mary. Reports are legion, but only one has been officially sanctioned by the Vatican: Our Lady of Akita, reported in 1973 by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa (below) in the remote area of Yuzawadai, near Akita. This wooden statue of the Virgin Mary – which also apparently manifested stigmata, as did Sister Agnes – is said to have wept on 101 occasions over the following six years.


1985: Ireland


Reports that a roadside statue of the Virgin Mary had started to move in Ballinspittle, County Cork, triggered off a series of sightings of other moving statues around the country. Sadly on this occasion a Catholic bishop declared this Marian apparition to be an illusion. Nevertheless, around 100,000 people were said to have visited the site of the ‘miracle’. Incidentally, after 15 pints of Guinness, whole churches can sometimes appear to move.

1995: India


Early in the morning of 21 September 1995 a worshipper in New Delhi offered milk to a statue of the Hindu deity Ganesha, whereupon the elephant god reportedly snorted it up his trunk. Throughout the morning the milk drinking spread to statues of other gods in temples all over India. Later the same day, the new craze reached Britain and other countries.

Indian scientists suggested that capillary action was causing the liquid to rise from proffered spoons before running down the front of the statues.

2001: Worldwide

Big Mouth Billy Bass caused a worldwide sensation when he moved his head and tail and sang Don’t Worry, Be Happy and Take me to the River.

2012: India


The Church of Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai became a major venue for pilgrims after its statue of Jesus began to drip water, and the church was happy to encourage this stat of affairs. So when pesky old skeptic Sanal Edamaruku revealed that faulty plumbing was causing water to leak onto the Son of God, the protests were none too happy. Although he is a longstanding debunker of religious myths, and a vocal critic of the church (including Mother Teresa), on this occasion things went further. After being charged with blasphemy, and receiving death threats, he sought exile in Europe, where he is trying to persuade governments to put pressure on India to abandon its archaic law.

Posted: 25th, June 2013 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink