Strange Lives

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.

“Attend, ye braves!” Shakespeare Speaks from the Beyond

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now…Today we look at some of the post-mortem communications purporting to come from Shakespeare. Hard on the heels of 19th-century “Bardolotry” came the Spiritualists, who couldn’t leave his bones undisturbed, but summoned the departed Bard from the vasty deeps to channel wit, wisdom, poetry, plays and unmitigated blather.

Polt or Possessed on Prince Edward Island?

A young Canadian girl is followed by mysterious rappings and fires. No, it’s not Mary Ellen of Antigonish–the case occurs a decade earlier and her family swore they saw her levitate.

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.

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