Strange Bodies

Double-Headed Monsters in Fiction

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

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.

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.

A Man of Vision: the Glass Coffin Inventor

A visionary inventor tries to sell an investor on glass coffins–the newest wrinkle in mortuary management–which include a filing system and a guarantee of permanent preservation of the corpse.

Mr Moon and his Mummified Molly

Around Halloween there was a shuddersome spate of stories about mummies and grave robbing. There were so many mummy dearest that I just had to write about Mr Moon and his wife Molly.

Know When to Hold ’em: Waiting Mortuaries in Connecticut?

An account of a proposal from Bridgeport, Connecticut, for an organization that would hold the bodies of the dead until they showed unmistakable signs of decomposition–in the interest of preventing burial alive.

Sicklied o’er with the pale cast of rot.

Being of a morbid temperament, I’ve taken special notice of stories of pale and sickly spirits, so here are a few tales of pallid phantoms. Obviously a ghost is traditionally pale, but these particular sickly-white spirits seem to be associated with a crisis apparition or a death-bed appearance.

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