Strange Bodies

Encore: The Bird-Woman Horror

“It was rather dark, for the lower half of the windows were boarded up; but in one corner, on the floor, was plainly distinguishable what looked like a heap of clothes flung together in disorder. It appeared to be in motion, however, and the mistress of the house once more turning to her follower had just time to utter the mysterious words—”Don’t be frightened. If she likes you, she’ll hoot; if she doesn’t, she’ll scream…”

Encore: 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….

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.

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