Strange Deaths

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.

“Step Into My Parlor,” Said the Spider to the Snake.

A story from Australia (with photos) tells of a deadly spider capturing one of the world’s most venomous spiders in its web. It sounds implausible. We look at some historic precedents.

Poisonous Kisses: A Valentine’s Day PSA

Doctors want you to know about the perils of poisonous kisses: “In many instances of the customary kissing, there is a great vicious bloodhound lying hidden, ready to strike his poisonous fangs into the very flesh and bone of the unsuspecting individual…”

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 […]

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