medical oddities

Hair Today; Gone Tomorrow: Death by Hair

A shocking catalog of deaths by hair: mustache murder, dis-tress-ing suicides, hair-ball fatalities, cats and rats and poisonous hair dyes.

Double-Headed Monsters in Fiction

A look at some little-known characters in fortean fiction: female two-headed monsters.

The French Tongue: A Method for Raising the Dead

A French physician, Dr. Laborde, startles his colleagues by his decidedly novel way of treating cases of suffocation, insisting that the most effective and, as far as he has found, successful way of resuscitation is obtained by the rhythmical pulling of the tongue of the person suffocated.

Mother Taylor and The Power Society

In 1893 a new religious leader arose in Kentucky: Mother Betty Taylor, who claimed to resurrect the dead.

The Cone of Death: More Novel Execution Methods

Looking at more novel methods of execution involving large blocks of granite, buckets of icy water, and the Swedish Cone of Death.

Composting the Dead in Naples

The Urban Death Project is a hip, modern, scientific, and green take on corpse disposal, but the notion of group graves where decomposition is left to nature is not new. In the 1830s an American author visits some Italian common graves and describes the gruesome scene.

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.

A Grave Warning About Iron Coffins

While sellers of Fisk metallic burial cases rhapsodized about their ability to preserve the features of loved ones, these iron coffins had a darker side associated with burial alive.

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