Strange Lives

Leeches, Radium, and a Corpse in a Box: Strange Christmas Presents of the Past

Looking for inspiration for truly memorable holiday presents? Turn to the past for gifts they’ll never forget–like radium particles, a dismembered corpse, a hamper of poisonous snakes, and strips of human skin.

Devil Tales

The statue of a horned Satan which appeared mysteriously in Vancouver seems as good an excuse as any to revisit two posts on the Devil and his minions.

Eating Holy Clay

Delving among the gravestones, I ran across a disturbing ritual from Ireland where clay from graves is eaten to protect against disease and sin. Unfortunately more was ingested than just clay.

Miss Tardo’s Poisonous Profession

A game of snakes & adders. She was billed as the Strangest Woman in the World for her immunity to snake venom and other poisons and her inability to feel pain.

Ernest Case: Toledo’s “Man of Visions”

Ernest Case was visited by angels, went into deep trances in which he could find missing items, and foretold his own death on the 27th of an unknown month and year. What happened to this Toledo Wonder?

Encore: Great Cranks and Curiosities of the Washington Monument

While Washington DC and the White House attracted a wide variety of cranks, the Washington Monument was a shrine for the eccentric, the deluded, and the proto base-jumper.

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