Archive for
‘December, 2012’

The Animals’ Christmas Carol: The Beasts Speak on Christmas Eve

It is said, in traditions ranging from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, that animals are magically able to speak at midnight on Christmas Eve. You might look for innocent barnyard chatter about a Baby in a manger or a bright new Star in the East. And yet, in many parts of Europe, you would put your head under the covers for fear of what sinister things you might hear.

Breathe Once for ‘Yes’: Guibal and Greville’s Mind-Reading Act

While I enjoy reading the first-person accounts of apparitions, fire-spooks, and faces in the windows, it is always a pleasure to find a new wrinkle in the mind-reading tricks sometimes used by Spiritualist mediums. Dr. Hyslop was James Hervey Hyslop, born in Xenia, Ohio, a prominent member of the Society for Psychical Research (as well […]

Chignon Satire: Victorian Hairpiece Humor (part 2)

We have previously looked at the hair-raising horrors of the parasitic “gregarines” in fashionable ladies’ chignons and waterfalls. Today let us comb through the archives for chignon satire. As with any extreme fashion, these appendages were the subject of much coiffure comedy.

Spook Lights and Corpse Candles: Lethal Lights

These mysterious luminaries of the paranormal world have a variety of names: Spook lights, corpse candles, will-o-the-wisps, jack-o-lanterns, ball lightning, ignis fatuus, swamp gas, ghost lights. Yet no matter what the designation, their nature is elusive. They always float just out of reach when scientists try to study them. This is a post about spook lights that harm.

The Little Match Girls: Incendiary Poltergeists

Hellish blue flames and mysterious outbreaks of fire: the fire-spook has struck again. Is it a concoction of combustible chemicals? a poltergeist girl? Or a ghost playing with matches?

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