Costume History

A Corpse in a Terrible Frenzy

A past Bishop of Liberia gives us an eye-witness account of a restless corpse determined to find her murderer.

A Few Uses for a Dead Tombstone

Recently there have been news stories about the inappropriate use of old tombstones. This is scarcely a new problem, as we look at 19th and early 20th-century stories of “A Few Uses for a Dead Tombstone”

The Tomb Challenge of the Russian Princess

In 1818 the Russian Princess Elisabeth Demidoff died at Paris, aged 39. 75 years later, strange stories began to circulate about the tomb and its occupant.

Replevying a Corpse

As a hardened reader of sensationally horrible deaths in the Victorian press, you would think that very little would shock. Yet there is a category of mortuary stories that has given me pause. I refer, of course, to stories involving writs of replevin on corpses. What?

The Thornley Crape Threat

I have previously shared some instances of “coffin threats” in this forum, as well as writing about the lost art of “crape threats” in The Victorian Book of the Dead. Today we look at what was the early-20th-century version of a gangster sending a funeral wreath to a rival.

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