Body Snatching

Corpse Contracts: People who Sold Their Own Dead Bodies

It is a sinister fact that, before the passage of the various Anatomy Acts, the doctors of the past paid for stolen corpses for their dissecting rooms. What is less well-known is that various individuals in what might be termed the “pre-corpse stage” might sell their own bodies to the anatomists.

Tombstone Madness: A 19th-century occupational disease

The life of a graveyard guard was a thankless one. He had to walk the grounds of a cemetery in the dark and in all weathers, ever vigilant for the dreaded body snatchers. More than one watchman was murdered by these ghouls or exchanged gunfire among the tombstones. It was no wonder that, in the 1880s, a new occupational disease emerged.

Bring Me the Head of Charles Julius Guiteau

Bring Me the Head of Charles Julius Guiteau When Charles Julius Guiteau was hung for the assassination of President James A. Garfield, it was just the beginning of a macabre, post-mortem career for his head–or rather his deboned face embalmed and preserved in a vat of alcohol….

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