Pat Shingleton for Thursday, July 18, 2013

On this date in 1689, lightning zapped the altar in the church of Saint-Sauveur, in Ligny, France. Fifty witnesses watched a statue of Christ levitate and as noted in a previous column, altar cloths were scorched and curtains were blown off their rings, but the rings remained on the rod. In 1812, in Combe Hay, Somerset, U.K., lightning killed six sheep and witnesses noticed tattooed pictures of the landscape on their skin. Two similar incidents occurred in Greece, where a sailor, struck by lightning, had a shadowgraph of the number 44 on his body, attached to a nearby rigging. Another sailor in the Adriatic was hit while sitting below the mast. Imprinted on his groin was the image of a horseshoe, nailed to the foremast. Fastcast: Hot, showers.