"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Link Dump

Halloween is going to the dogs.

And, of course, the cats.

On to this week's tricks and treats:

What the hell is the Phaistos Disc? Now we...sort of know?

Where the hell is Amelia Earhart?  Now we...sort of know?

What the hell is the Rock Ship of Masuda?

What the hell is buzzing the International Space Station?

What the hell stopped this 1954 soccer match?

What the hell was depicted in this 16th century Romanian painting?

Who the hell was the first person killed by a machine gun?

Where the hell is Thomas Paine's corpse?

Where the hell is Star Dust?

Watch out for those horrible hand dinosaurs!

Watch out for the Devil's Tower!

Watch out for Leonardo's gaze!

Watch out for Grandma!

Watch out for Nan Tuck's ghost!

Watch out for those haunted beds!

Are you an actor?  Watch out for Fridays!

An accused witch countersues.

Helpful hints from the 18th century.  Make your own thunder and lightning!

The sad tale of a woman who bequeathed her cats to Theodore Roosevelt.

This one is so many degrees of The Crazy, I don't even know where to begin.

Carl Tanzler, meet "worthy old salt."

Starvation as "medicine":  a hungry chapter in the deadly history of quackery.

That time England plotted to kidnap Nessie.

The Witch of Eye, royal scapegoat.

An account of an 18th century NDE.

Why 19th century mourning etiquette could make you feel you'd be better off dead.

Assassinating Pan.

What's Halloween without a little Jack Parsons?

What's Halloween without a little anti-witchcraft medicine?

What's Halloween without being spooked by rocking corpses?

What's Halloween without Things in cemeteries?

What's Halloween without Samhain?

Call these "haunted houses in training."

World War I era quack cures.

Spicing things up in Early Modern England.  In every sense.

The Misadventures of a French Gentleman Without Pants.  I need say no more, I'm sure.

"Lines to a Boarding House Egg."  I need say no more about that, either.

Lorenzo de Medici's galley slaves.

Let's all go to Bedlam, shall we?

What it was like to dine with a 13th century wizard.

Paper cuts as portraiture.

Meet Ireland's most haunted castle.

Why you should be glad you weren't in Sweden 458 million years ago.

Roadtripping with Alice Huyler Ramsey, 1909.

Going over Niagara Falls with Annie Edson Taylor, 1901.

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of ghosts, you see...

Cornering the Ghost Market.

Pye Corner: Fire, Bodysnatcher, and Poltergeist Central.  Now, that's what I call a tourist trap.

And, finally, a man and his hummingbird friend.

Have a great time tonight, everyone, even though as far as I'm concerned it's just another day.  Every October, it occurs to me that I seem to be the only person online who does not celebrate Halloween.

I have never cared for the holiday, at least in the way it is celebrated in modern times. I suppose my aversion goes back to when I was nearly three years old. I had heard all about the practice of dressing up in costume and trick-or-treating, so I decided I wanted to give it a whirl. I didn't have any particular costume in mind. All I knew was that it had to make me completely unrecognizable. I had somehow gotten it into my head that if anyone could tell who it was under the costume, the whole thing was shot. The way I saw it, what's the point of a disguise if it doesn't disguise you?

An aunt of mine who is very good at sewing worked up a costume for me. I have no memory of what it was, just that I thought it made me suitably mysterious. No one, I was sure, would be able to tell it was me under the thing.

There was just one flaw to my plan: At that stage in my history, I had a pair of bunny slippers that I loved more than life itself. I insisted on wearing them everywhere I went. So, of course, they became part of my Halloween outfit. It never occurred to me that this might cause problems.

Anyway, on Halloween evening, my grandmother and I set out to make the rounds of the neighbors and astound everyone with my brilliant success at cloaking my identity. I pictured everyone on the block asking themselves, "Who was that masked stranger?"

Our first stop was the couple who lived next door. I walked up to the door alone (I insisted that my grandmother wait on the sidewalk, because I knew that would instantly give the game away.) The lady of the house answered the door and immediately chirped, "Hi, Lisa!"

I was devastated. My incognito was destroyed the first crack out of the box. "How did you know who I am?" I wailed.

"Why," she replied, "you've got your bunny slippers on!"

I was so disgusted by this debacle, I've never worn a costume since.

Not to mention bunny slippers.

Anyway, I'll be back on Monday, with another story from the Creepy Unsolved Murders File.  In the meantime, what is Halloween without Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe?


  1. I don't celebrate Hallowe'en either, though I do give out candy, because it's fun for the children, and when I was a child, trick-or-treating, I hated the people who pretended not to be home, just so they couldn't be bothered that night. But otherwise, I find the day too commercialized and standardized.

  2. The Earhart material is a scam that resurfaces once in a while. The metal piece that they have cannot have been made before 1943. More info here:



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