Strange Bodies

Freakonomics: A Dime Museum Man Speaks Candidly

Freakonomics. “Yes,” said the dime museum man “I’ve had a liberal education in freaks. I’ve been right here in Fourteenth street for fifteen years and, take it all together, I’ve associated with a greater galaxy of weird wonders than any other man alive.” He goes on to describe Freaks He Has Known, what they earned, and fashions in Dime Museum attractions.

“A purple flame which rose from the casket:” Spontaneous Human Combustion in Brooklyn

A case of spontaneous human combustion hushed up in Brooklyn, plus two other historic cases, including one where the victim survived a few days to tell his story.

Encore: Elbows on the Table: Professor Segato’s Petrified Corpse Furniture

In an obscure museum in Florence, Italy, there is an object–a table top–which looks like it is inlaid with polished semi-precious stones. In fact, it is made of pieces of petrified human corpses.

The Sitting Dead: Bizarre Burials and Curious Coffins

A cavalcade of curious coffins and bizarre burials: standing, sitting, on horseback, in a whiskey barrel, or a brick…

A Curious County: Bracken County, Kentucky Forteana

A “Devil’s Backbone,” a treasure cave with a giant skeleton, an imposter on a grand scale, mysterious faces in window glass, big snakes, fiery devils, and sin-induced levitation—who knew that one small and very rural Kentucky county could be so infested with fortean excitement?

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