Apparently, a number of people believe that a window in Milton, MA contains the image of the Virgin Mary. This hospital window broke a seal and condensation seeped in between the panes of glass. But it didn't cause your average garden-variety stain. This stain is super-holy and all. Check it out via Annanova.
It's gotten bad enough that WCVB-TV is reporting that during certain times the hospital is covering up the window to prevent the addle-brained from causing traffic jams and other trouble. When you believe silly things like this, you've got my amusement. When you refuse to honor the hospital's request to stay away at certain times and begin to cause trouble, then you've got my ire.
And let's take a look at this belief, shall we?
Personally, I think the image is more flounder-shaped than Virgin-shaped. If you squint hard enough, there are a lot of things you can imagine it looking like. Or, taking the unpopular path of "making sense" it could just be a stain on a window.
Pareidolia is the effect responsible for this excitement (explanation at Skeptic's Dictionary). This is the same effect which makes people believe they see a man in the Moon, a face on Mars, and Mother Theresa in a cinnamon bun. The human brain automatically tried to find patterns in randomness. It's a skill that no doubt comes in handy when you're looking out for predators, or looking for prey. And it's better to be too good at picking out patterns than too poor, lest that mountain lion get you.
However, our reason is supposed to be good for determining after the fact that what we saw was actually a window, not a person. This elusive "reason" appears to have been turned off in the brains of certain individuals. As one of the Milton pilgrims said:
"I think they feel if the lady is present, they would get a type of healing they needed -- physically, spiritually and mentally," said one visitor.
I'll avoid pointing out what I think is the area of most need in the healing department.
This brings to mind a story from some years back, when an angel was spotted in the photograph of some clouds in New Bedford. (Link to story. Link to Image)