Weekend Compendium: 13 January 2016 Valentine Edition

Weekend Compendium: 13 January 2016 Valentine Edition Featuring an 18th century “Missed Connection” ad, 19th century hints for photographic sitters. The Angel of Lourdes, monkey ghosts, Valentines for Undertakers and Spiritualist Mediums.

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.

The Poear Dear and the Wicked Woman: A Suffolk Witch Story

A Suffolk witch story from 1877, involving a spell meant to be cast on a man, but transfered to his wife, who suffered for years under the bewitchment. In a series of ill-spelt letters, the witch confesses and suggests a transfer of the spell to its rightful owner.

Hearts and Powers: Cardiac Witchery

In this Valentine’s week, let us take the pulse of early 20th-century witchcraft and look at the power of the heart in enchantments. The hearts of lambs, moles, and humans–all had mystic powers.

Occult Science and Oats: A Canadian Witch Trial

Occult Science and Oats: A Canadian Witch Trial In 1920 Canada, a young woman is sentenced to jail for being a practicing witch when she helped to solve a theft with the aid of the “spirits.”

The Witch Wreath at the Museum

A recent discovery of a “witch bottle,” reminded me of one of the most bewitching of witch artifacts: the “witch wreath” or the “crown of feathers.” Found inside beds and pillows, these circlets of feathers appear most often in Appalachian and German folklore, both as an omen of death or bewitchment and also as a token of salvation, something which I suspect is a later belief grafted onto an essentially malevolent sign.

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