February, 2006


February 1, 2006

Today's Sexually Excited Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In May, 2004 a sexually excited stallion bit a Polish man to death when he tried to calm the beast, which had become uncontrollably aroused by a nearby mare. "The 24-year-old man, identified as Robert R., was bitten when he tried to calm his horse, which had become unsettled by the presence of a mare in the vicinity," a duty officer in the Baltic port of Szczecin told Reuters. The horse went wild and began straining and bucking while pulling a farm cart through the village. An autopsy would determine whether the direct cause of death was a severed jugular vein or damaged spine.


Culled from: Reuters
Generously suggested by: Skye

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What a way to go...

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

This one is courtesy Tom:

Q: What's the hardest part about cooking vegetables?

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A: Getting the wheelchair into the oven!

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Tragic Link Du Jour!

Here is a site full of wonderful photographs of the exquisite, abandoned Mt. Loretto Girls Orphanage on Staten Island which tragically burned down in 2000. Have I ever told you how much I hate arsonists? They really should be hung by their tongues!

http://oboylephoto.com/girls_school/


February 5, 2006

Today's Final Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

English poet Lord Byron (1788-1824) was killed by doctors during a "bloodletting" attempt to cure malarial fever. His last words were, "I must sleep now."


Culled from: "Sylvia Plath Stuck Her Head In An Oven"
Generously suggested by: Remo

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I wouldn't be surprised if those are my last words as well, given the frequency with which I already say them!

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's something you never see in this country: 9/11 humor! This one is courtesy Tom, who tells the tale:

"Here's one I NEVER get to tell. It was told to me by an Argentine kid in the Czech republic. You see right after 9/11 the rest of the world had a series of jokes on the subject. I just can't ever seem to find an audience for this one."

Q: Why is American Airlines the BEST airline in the world?

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A: Because they take you RIGHT to your office.

I think you've found your audience, Tom!

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

You've just gotta love Harsh Reality Greeting Cards!

http://www.harshrealitygreetingcards.com/

Thanks to Jana for the link.

February 6, 2006

Today's Striking Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On June 21-22, 1922, near Herrin, clashes between striking miners at the Southern Illinois Coal Co. strip mine and strikebreakers occurred, causing a total of 22 deaths. During a national strike by the United Mine Workers of America, the Herrin workers agreed to mine coal but stockpile it until after the strike, in an effort to ease the financial position of the coal company. When the company shipped the coal anyway using strikebreakers, the miners besieged the mine. The strikebreakers surrendered, and were marched into the woods near a barbed wire fence. Somebody shouted, "Lets see how fast you can run between here and Chicago, you damned gutter-bums!" Shots were fired and the panicked strikebreakers ran for the fence, desperately trying to climb through or over. Some never made it to the fence. As they ran in horror, some of the captives got caught in the fence and were riddled with bullets. Others, unfamiliar with the area, ran through the dense underbrush and trees known as Harrison's woods, in the general direction of Herrin. During the morning some of the 'scabs' who remained alive were chased down and murdered. Some were re-caught and marched to Herrin Cemetery, only to be slaughtered there in front of a crowd. It was about noon on June 22nd, when men took turns beating several captives, then shot them dead. To end the massacre in a final act of grotesque brutality, somebody stepped forward with his pocket knife and slit the throats of those still alive. In the end, a coroner's jury attributed the deaths to the influence of the officials of the coal company, and at a subsequent trial in the courthouse at Herrin, all the accused miners were acquitted.

Culled from: Institute of Labor and Cultural Relations Library

And

The Herrin Massacre

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See, this is why teamwork is such an important thing on the job: it diffuses the blame so that nobody goes to prison!

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Update Du Jour!

Well, apparently the woman who had the face transplant must have heard we were talking about her on the Morbid Forum, and decided to put her best face forward!

http://tinyurl.com/acobe

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Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Two Arabs are sitting in a tent smoking hashish and talking about their families. First Arab has his wallet out and is showing family pictures.

"This is my oldest son, Ali. He's a martyr."

His friend says "Praise Allah, how proud you must be!"

"Yes, we are indeed very proud of Ali. Now, this is our second oldest son, Rashid. He became a martyr just last week."

"Praise Allah to the skies! What a fine looking young man!"

The proud father sighs, wipes a tear from his eye and says "Children. They blow up so fast."

You can blame this one on Starla!

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Juli writes, "I was perusing my local bookstore yesterday when I stumbled upon an eye-catching title: The Book of Bunny Suicides. It's by Andy Riley and is basically a collection of cartoon bunny suicides. There's a little bit of everything, from self-inflicted javelin wounds to a particularly creative hanging death. Cute AND disturbing."

Sounds like jolly good fun!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452285186/theasylumeclecti

February 7, 2006

Today's Chatty Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On May 9, 1994, convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy sat down for his last meal: fried chicken, French fries, Coke and strawberry shortcake. Prison officials later described his demeanor as "chatty... talking up a storm." In a phone interview shortly before his execution, he told a Knight-Tribune reporter, "There's been 11 hardback books on me, 31 paperbacks, two screenplays, one movie, one off-Broadway play, five songs, and over 5,000 articles. What can I say about it" But of course, he quickly protested, "I have no ego for any of this garbage." Just after midnight on May 10, 1994, Gacy was executed by lethal injection. For his last words, Gacy snarled, "Kiss my ass."

Culled from: Crime Magazine

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Ghastly!

You may have seen the footage of the man who said goodbye to a friend, then shot himself after she gets in the elevator. Well, The Fuck Society took that footage and added their own dialogue, to ... effect.

http://thefucksociety.com/anim.php?id=valvemotherfuckers&w=350&h=238

Thanks to anathema device for the link.

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Morbid Games Du Jour!

Here are some more vintage morbid games that you might be able to pick up on the cheap, recommended by crystalyne:

D
(PC, 3DO, Saturn, Playstation)
A vampire/Cannibalism tale of a young girl who learns of her past and her impending doom--as her family is directly descended from Dracula. Kind of slow at times, but the silent movie like pace and theme works well.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005BISO/theasylumeclecti

February 8, 2006

Today's Blasted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A British man who accidentally shot himself in the testicles after drinking 15 pints of beer was jailed for five years for possessing an illegal firearm. David Walker, 28, was arguing with a friend at a pub in South Yorkshire, northern England, when he went home to get his sawed-off shotgun, which he jammed into his trousers. But as he walked back to the pub, the gun went off, blasting pellets into his testicles. Doctors later removed what remained of his
testicles during emergency surgery.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Rob

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Another example of why alcohol is bad for you, kids!

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching why not exercise your latent cross-stitch talents and make a Subversive Valentine for the one you love (or hate)? If I wasn't so damned lazy, I would!

http://subversivecrossstitch.com/

Thanks to Firesong for the link.

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Perilous Poetry!

Black Diamond thinks that we might enjoy the following poem:

The Bridge of Sighs by Thomas Hood

ONE more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve's family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurl'd—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro' muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr'd by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.—
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!

February 9, 2006

Today's Penetrating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

American author Sherwood Anderson died on March 8, 1941 on his way to a goodwill tour of South America. He had swallowed a bit of a toothpick at a farewell party, which then penetrated his intestines, causing the peritonitis that killed him.

Culled from: Sherwood Anderson

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That's one hell of a farewell party!

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Morbid Sightseeing!

I've finished a very brief travelogue to the "Haunted Pillar" in Augusta, Georgia. Enjoy!

http://asylumeclectica.com/asylum/sightseer/us/ga/augusta/pillar.htm

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Strange Link Du Jour!

FatsoRizzo sends a very strange link our way:

"Speaking of morbid houses, here is a link I found to an old Homes and Gardens article done on Hitler's Bavarian Hideaway! It's from an Israeli Website. The tone of the article is sooo fawning ..."

http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/hydepark/topic.asp?topic_id=554707

February 10, 2006

Today's Undying Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Mercy Brown is sometimes known as the last traditional North American vampire. Mercy died on January 17, 1892 at age 19. Her death followed those of her mother, Mary Brown, and older sister, Mary Olive. At the time of her death, her brother, Edwin, was gravely ill. Mercy's Father, George Brown was desperate to save him. In an attempt to rid the family of a perceived curse, George Brown decided to dig up the bodies of the women, including Mercy, who had only been buried for about one month. During the exhumation, observers noted that Mercy's body appeared to have turned over inside the coffin and that blood was present in her heart. Fearing Mercy was a vampire, the Exeter townspeople removed her heart and burned it on a nearby rock before reburying her. Folklore at the time said that destroying the heart of a vampire would kill it, and by consuming the remains of the vampire's heart, the curse would be broken and the victim would get well. George Brown fed the ashes to his son, Edwin, who died two months later. It is now known that Tuberculosis caused the mysterious deaths once attributed to Rhode Island vampires, including the case of Mercy Brown.

culled from: Zclone Presents Rhode Island
Generously suggested by: Bill

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Very cool story - but what I want to know is how would they know that the heart contained blood by just looking at the corpse? X-ray specs, maybe?

Skat writes: "You asked in today's MFDJ: 'Very cool story - but what I want to know is how would they know that the heart contained blood by just looking at the corpse? X-ray specs, maybe?'

"They believed that a vampire's heart had to be destroyed to end the vampire's tyrrany, so they removed her heart after they exhumed the body and burned it on a nearby stone (which is about a yard from her mother's headstone in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Exeter, RI). >>From http://www.quahog.org/attractions/index.php?id=50 (which has a lot of broken images on the page):

". . . when the men entered the crypt to examine Mercy, they found that her corpse had shifted from its original position inside her coffin. What's more, her body was still fresh, for when the doctor cut out her heart it dripped blood. The doctor drained her organs of fluid and the men burned her heart on a nearby stone wall. (Some accounts add that either her liver or her lungs were also burned). The balance of Mercy's remains were presumably given a proper burial later in the spring.

Some of the ashes were given to Edwin (who had returned from Colorado feeling better, but who had soon suffered a relapse) to drink as a sort of talismanic potion. Despite such desperate measures, Edwin died less than two months afterwards, on May 2, 1892."

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Morbid Sightseeing!

If you find yourself in Las Vegas in the very near future (ie. before March 5, 2006), lisa thinks you should stop by the Tropicana Hotel:

"I was recently in Las Vegas for a convention and took the time to stop by the 'Titanic – the Artifact Exhibition' at the Tropicana hotel. I must say, it was the highlight of the trip. The exhibit was done very well, with lighting effects that mimicked the mood of each portion of the ship (the engine room, for instance, was warmer, with an eerie orange glow.) The artifacts recovered from the ocean floor ranged from money to Titanic’s dishware to clothing. The best part of the entire exhibit, however, was at the end – they had an entire slab of the side of the actual ship suspended in the center of the room. I’m bad with dimensions, but I’d say it was at least 20 feet tall and 100 feet long. Some of the glass portholes were still intact, and the ghostly feeling in the room was almost stifling. I could imagine people peering out of those windows at icebergs that fateful morning as they waited for their demise.

"The admission is not terribly expensive ($16.95) and well worth it for anyone who enjoys such things. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys such exhibits… or for anyone of a morbid nature who is stuck in Las Vegas for a weekend!"

See http://www.tropicanalv.com/ent_titanic.asp for more information.

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

If you're like me, you sit around thinking of all the great movies that Hollywood *should* be making, but never do. Like, for example, where is the movie version of Sawney Beane? Well, Diana writes about a movie that was inspired by the Sawney Beane story. It's not quite the same, of course, but it's available now.

"Wes Craven's movie 'The Hills Have Eyes' is loosely based on the Sawney Beane case. Craven has said in interviews that he had read a book with their story in it and that inspired the movie."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00009V7QM/theasylumeclecti

February 12, 2006

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

Today I bring you part one of a several part series on the atrocities of Vlad!

Today's Sharpened Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

More than anything else the historical Dracula is known for his inhuman cruelty. Impalement was Vlad III’s preferred method of torture and execution. Impalement was and is one of the most gruesome ways of dying imaginable, as it was typically slow and painful. Vlad usually had a horse attached to each of the victim’s legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp, else the victim might die too rapidly from shock. Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the buttocks and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other body orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother’s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.

Culled from: Vlad Tepes - The Historical Dracula
Generously suggested by: Dwayne

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I must say that impalement through a bodily orifice must rank as one of my least favorite possible ways to die...

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Morbid Sightseeing!

I've featured this site before, but it's been awhile, so why not take another look? This is a guy who knows how to spend his time - being photographed in front of the gravesites of dead presidents. Sounds like something The Comtesse would do...

http://starship.python.net/crew/manus/Presidents/

Thanks to Chaos Elle for the link.

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Morbid Film Du Jour!

Barb warns us about this one:

"The all-time nasty dentist movie has to be "The Dentist" starring Corben Bensen. Since I saw that disturbing movie, I am very wary of all dentists!"

I don't think I have the stomach for this one, myself!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/630512003X/theasylumeclecti

February 13, 2006

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

Today I bring you part two of a five-part series on the atrocities of Vlad!

Today's Gruesome Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Vlad Tepes often had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns. The most common pattern was a ring of concentric circles in the outskirts of a city that was his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The decaying corpses were often left up for months. It was once reported that an invading Turkish army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube. In 1461 Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man not noted for his squeamishness, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of twenty thousand impaled Turkish prisoners outside of the city of Tirgoviste. This gruesome sight is remembered in history as "the Forest of the Impaled."

Culled from: Vlad Tepes - The Historical Dracula
Generously suggested by: Dwayne

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Surely there must be a death metal band named "Forest of the Impaled", right?

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Morbid Sightseeing!

JuteCat recommends a visit to the Eckley Miner's Village in Eckley, PA:

"A few years ago I visited Eckley's miner town, in Eckley, PA. I found the whole place to be rather creepy as some of the buildings are falling apart, and there is all this gigantic machinery looming in the distance. Unfortunately the tour was rather disappointing, being that they didn't really bring up anything morbid. So I took over and bit and explained a little too loudly to my best friend, that places like these used to have people hauling black pushcarts at the end of the day filled with that day's dead. It was a miner wife's worst nightmare to have them knock at her door. The tour guide looked rather annoyed (nyahaha). Another strange thing is the restored doctor's office, an old church, and the fact that some people were doing a dig over there. Although some people still live there, the place still has a creepy feeling to it. The gift shop was pretty neat, and they had a regular museum as well."

"Oh yes, another lil morbid note. My great uncle worked at the mine in Eckley, he later died of black lung."

http://www.eckleyminers.org/

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Okay, normally I would consider taxidermy to be anything but art, but you have to check out the taxidermy preparations by Sarina Brewer. Compelling stuff!

http://www.customcreaturetaxidermy.com/

Thanks to Rob for the link.

February 15, 2006

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

Today I bring you part three of a five-part series on the atrocities of Vlad!

Today's Grisly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Thousands were often impaled at a single time. Ten thousand were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu in 1460. In 1459, on St. Bartholomew’s Day, Vlad III had thirty thousand of the merchants and boyars of the Transylvanian city of Brasov impaled. One of the most famous woodcuts of the period shows Vlad Dracula feasting amongst a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Brasov while a nearby executioner cuts apart other victims.

Culled from: Vlad Tepes - The Historical Dracula
Generously suggested by: Dwayne

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I commented the other day that there must surely be a death metal band named Forest of the Impaled. Well, wouldn't you know it - there is one right here in Chicago!

http://www.mtpcomp.com/FOI/Welcome.html

Thanks to Amos Quito for the link.

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Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're passing through Huntsville, Texas (which might possibly be next Tuesday, you never know), why not stop and visit Old Sparky at the Texas Prison Museum? Bruce sends me an article from 2002 that describes its earthly delights quite well:

Texas Electric Chair Put in Museum
By MICHAEL GRACZYK
Associated Press Writer

November 12, 2002, 5:48 PM EST

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- The Texas electric chair "Old Sparky," where 361 killers met their deaths in the 20th century, gets a new permanent home Wednesday with the opening of the new Texas Prison Museum.

The outside of the museum is designed to resemble from the outside the nearby prison in Huntsville, complete with guard tower. Inside, it features the good and bad of Texas prisons over the past century and a half. The new museum replaces cramped, rented quarters in downtown Huntsville.

The electric chair, now in an exhibit called "Riding the Thunderbolt," is what visitors come most to see, said Weldon Svoboda, museum director.

"It is the No. 1 exhibit," he said. "For some reason the electric chair has some kind of nostalgic effect on people. It's kind of weird."

"It is kind of spooky," agreed an inmate who was moving the chair Tuesday as part of a work crew finishing up exhibits in time for the opening.

The museum is run by a nonprofit corporation but was built by prison labor.

Other exhibits include a modern-day double-bunk cell; examples of prison industry products like street signs and safety garments worn by highway workers; displays on famous -- or infamous -- convicts; and tools of the prison trade through the years, such as balls and chains and 19th-century handcuffs.

One device is a piece of iron that was wrapped around an inmate's ankle. From the iron protrude long spikes, one aimed forward and another backward.

"If you went to run, the back spike would hit you in the buttocks and the front spike would sink into the ground so you couldn't run," Svoboda explained.

The centerpiece of the museum is the section on capital punishment. Texas has executed 285 inmates over the past two decades, more than any other state.

In a display case are the tubes used to carry lethal drugs into the veins of Charlie Brooks, who on Dec. 7, 1982, became the first U.S. inmate to receive lethal injection. Another cabinet holds an anti-death penalty poster showing the image of Karla Tucker, who in 1998 became the first woman put to death in Texas since the Civil War.

The death chamber with the retired electric chair was re-created with dimensions of the room as they were for the 40 years the chair was in use, beginning in 1924.

"We give them the feel of the prison system and the evolution of it," said Janice Willett, treasurer of the museum board. "There is a rich culture and history."

http://www.txprisonmuseum.org/

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Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

France Casting makes museum quality replicas of bones with various anomalies. Surely you have room on your coffee table for a fetal cranium, a healed, displaced fractured humerus, or parietal bones with tertiary syphilis? I know I do! (Unfortunately, they are a bit expensive, so they will have to wait...)

http://www.francecasts.com/casts/humans/pathology_and_anomolies/

Thanks to Louise for the link!

February 17, 2006

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

Today I bring you part four of a five-part series on the atrocities of Vlad!

Today's Cruel Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Although impalement was Vlad Dracula’s favorite method of torture, it was by no means his only method. The list of tortures employed by this cruel prince reads like an inventory of hell’s tools: nails in heads, cutting off of limbs, blinding, strangulation, burning, cutting off of noses and ears, mutilation of sexual organs (especially in the case of women), scalping, skinning, exposure to the elements or to wild animals, and burning alive.

Culled from: Vlad Tepes - The Historical Dracula
Generously suggested by: Dwayne

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Morbid Sightseeing!

If you ever find yourself in Budapest, mattsochocki thinks you should check out the House Of Terror:

"I found an article about this place which is a museum in Budapest to the communist secret police, it was also their former headquarters. The real treat is that Idid some searching and found the official website for the place. It's all in Hungarian but if you hit the link that resembles museum and then on that page on the left a link to 'fototar' comes up and shows some really interesting photos of the inside of this place. Ihighly recommend checking it out. I found it incredibly interesting that they not only acknowledged the communist secret police but made a whole museum."

http://www.terrorhaza.hu/index2.html

Rick Steves has an excellent article about this site, which includes the following fascinating info: "Budapest has recently opened one of the most powerful museums in Europe. Featuring the grim decades of Nazi and Communist repression, the museum is the former headquarters for the secret police of both the Nazi and Communist governments. The building's awning has the word TERROR cut out of it, and when the sun projects through these letters, it symbolizes the terror which was projected onto the Hungarian people for fifty years. After allying themselves with Hitler to save their own skins (and their Jewish population), Hungary was overtaken by the Nazi-affiliated Arrowcross in the waning days of World War II. Arrowcross members did their best to exterminate Budapest's Jews. They killed Jews one-by-one in the streets, and were known to tie several victims together, shoot one of them, and throw him into the freezing Danube—dragging the others in with him. They executed hundreds in the basement of this building."

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/terror.htm

Count me in!!

Loren adds the following:
" For the person that discovered the Hungarian site - there is an English version of it, too. Thanks for that site - it is fascinating!"

 

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Morbid Read Du Jour!

Elizabeth has a recommendation for us:

"I am just finishing up a pretty good book [entitled] 'Bad Girls Do It! An Encyclopedia of Female Murders'. Talk about Girl Power! It ranges from the bored housewife who finds she [would] rather kill herself and [a] hoard of offspring than be a mother, a ton of 'Black Widows' and even some really bizarre women like the lovely Ms. Bathory for one and Delphine Lalaurie, a very interesting character."

Sounds like a fun-filled read to me!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1559501049/theasylumeclecti

February 19, 2006

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for "impaler" and was so coined because of Vlad’s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

Today I bring you part five of a five-part series on the atrocities of Vlad!

Today's Atrocious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Vlad Tepes’ atrocities against the people of Wallachia were usually attempts to enforce his own moral code upon his country. He appears to have been particularly concerned with female chastity. Maidens who lost their virginity, adulterous wives and unchaste widows were all targets of Vlad’s cruelty. Such women often had their sexual organs cut out or their breasts cut off, and were often impaled through the vagina on red-hot stakes. One report tells of the execution of an unfaithful wife. Vlad had the woman’s breasts cut off, then she was skinned and impaled in a square in Tirgoviste with her skin lying on a nearby table.

Culled from: Vlad Tepes - The Historical Dracula
Generously suggested by: Dwayne

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I tell you, you'd really have be a fiend to try and compete with ol' Vlad for the Wretch of the Year Award!

You may be interested in knowing that McFarlane Toys put out a generously buff Vlad figure a couple years ago. Somehow, I think he would be ever-so-pleased!

http://www.spawn.com/toys/product.aspx?product=2125

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Penny writes about Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum in Blackpool, England:

"I was looking at your travel guide articles and saw that some of the museums you have visited had wax casts or models on display. It reminded me of a visit my husband and I made a few years ago here in England. There is a seaside resort here called Blackpool. Not my sort of place really, but we were left with a spare weekend with no children to amuse and it seemed like a good idea at the time. While there, we found Louis Tussaud's Waxworks (he was the great grandson of Madame Tussaud - famous waxworks in London). It all looked a bit seedy to be honest, but we went in anyway. I can't say I enjoyed the main waxworks at all. The same tired looking celebrities and a few notorious criminals, but then we found a little side door which asked for an additional £1 entrance fee. It was an anatomical waxworks that dated back decades. I can't remember why the collection was started, or who did the modeling, but it was amazing. There were all sorts of casts, deformities, tumours, birth defects and syphilitic growths. Each model had a description with it and a date of when it was made. The detail was outstanding."

Sounds fascinating to me!

http://www.blackpoollive.com/waxworks/rooms.html

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Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Elizabeth has a recommendation for us:

"I just read The Ballad of Typhoid Mary.... I am now in LOVE with that book and Mary....I had to read it all in one day it was so good... I literally did not put it down."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525242112/theasylumeclecti

February 20, 2006

Today's Toxic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the mid-1960's, Ernest Huckleby of Alamogordo, New Mexico, started feeding waste grain to his hogs. Treated with a methyl mercury pesticide called Panogen, the seeds were intended for sowing, not feed, and bore a pink warning dye. The hogs showed no immediate effects, and Mr. Huckleby continued the feedings until slaughtering time in 1969. After his family ate the meat of one hog, disaster struck. Four children suffered severe nerve damage, including Ernestine, who lost sight, speech, and muscle control. Michael, unborn at the time, entered the world blind and retarded. Fast-working researchers tracked down the villain: The methyl mercury had concentrated in the hog's body, and was passed on to those who ate its flesh.

Culled from: National Geographic, October 1972

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Hog's Revenge!!

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Morbid Sightseeing!

Val has a morbid sightseeing suggestion for you Mormons!

"Hatch, Utah - where life is short and the cemeteries haunted.
Go up to Hatch cemetery, where you will find the entire cemetery, save three or four people, is under the age of fifteen. I would assume epidemic of some
kind, but this goes on from the 1800s all the way up to the eighties. Here is the find a grave listings for Hatch:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=77257

"Look at it and you will see it is true. They are almost all children. There is one family that lost their children, if I recall, all at the same time, at an inn. I believe it was a fire that took their lives, but I am not sure. Of interest to me is the grave of infant tourist, whose grave only reads 'Infant Tourist C-BOK.'"

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Taphophiles of the World, Rejoice!! A Very Grave Matter is a most wonderous website! Dedicated to the olde burying grounds of Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, this is an absolutely enormous repository of gravestone images and information! Jenn Marcelais should be commended for this amazing service!

A must-see!

http://www.gravematter.com/

February 22, 2006

Today's Elastic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Before Britain abolished the death penalty in 1964, the rope used in hanging executions was specially made at a factory in Wellington, Somerset, woven from Italian silk hemp, chosen because it did not stretch. Elasticity in a rope reduces the deceleration force on the victim's neck, making death more painful. Today the favoured rope is made of Terylene, the least elastic of all the synthetic fibres used in rope making.

Culled from: The Australian
Generously submitted by: MYant

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Now, go and impress your friends!

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

One of these days, I have to make a trip to Poland to the Auschwitz concentration camps. This site has a nice virtual tour with 360 degree views of various sections of the camps:

http://lastexpression.northwestern.edu/

Thanks to MHeb for the link.

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Morbid Art!

David recommends this site:

"Pretty bizarre and morbid creative art..."

http://www.genericversatility.com/paintings.html

February 23, 2006

Today's Dedicated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On March 28, 1941, at the onset of another in a series of mental breakdowns, one which she feared would be permanent, British author Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse near her home near Rodmell, Sussex, England. She left behind the following suicide note for her husband and sister:

"I feel certain that I am going mad again: I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and can't concentrate."

Virginia Woolf was cremated and her ashes scattered and buried in the grounds of Monks House, where there is now a commemorative statue. The spot on the River Ouse where she drowned has become a pilgrimage site for dedicated Woolfians. Some have even thrown themselves into the river in a macabre homage.

Culled from: 24 Hour Museum

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I would throw myself into the river... just not *permanently*. At least, not today...

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Morbid Site Du Jour!

Kathleen sends the following website recommendation:

"Perhaps you already have this site bookmarked, if not check it out. It catalogues the burial site of politicians. Tons of info on each and many, many morbid, fascinating links."

http://politicalgraveyard.com/

Personally, I am trying to imagine the amount of bloating *these* corpses must have!

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Morbid Film Du Jour!

I just saw a very entertaining movie, which was recommended to me by MFDJ-reader Paul, entitled "Kissed". This is a 1997 flick starring Molly Sims as a child with a romantic obsession with death (which makes her a little hard for the other kids to relate to) who grows up to become a coroner's assistant who finds it easiest to relate, rather intimately, with her lifeless clients. And it's about her boyfriend, who finds that his living, breathing flesh just can't compete with the stiffs. This is one of those films that is so interesting, so different, so brave that you wonder how in the hell it ever got made in the first place. I'd highly recommend showing this one to your unimaginative, non-morbid friends and watching their reaction... but then, I'm evil like that. This is "Aftermath" with a heart and soul.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009X7BH8/theasylumeclecti

February 26, 2006

Today's Horrific Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A woman received horrific internal injuries when a consultant gynaecologist from Birmingham, England attempted an abortion he was not capable of performing. Andrew Gbinigie ruptured the patient's womb during the operation, and pulled out her right fallopian tube and ovary, and her ureter - the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder. Only after he had removed a piece of bowel did he realise something was wrong and called for help from staff at Birmingham's Calthorpe Clinic. The woman was rushed to a hospital for specialist treatment and her life was saved, although one of her kidneys had to be removed. Mr Gbinigie had reassured the senior staff he was capable of performing abortions where the foetus was more than 15 weeks old. Mr Gbinigie's first operation in the afternoon was the termination of a 20-week-old foetus. The hearing was told the consultant removed a piece of white human tissue the theatre sister did not recognise, and a long piece of cord with a loop on both ends. He then pulled down what appeared to the sister to be some bowel. The consultant was shocked and asked if it was the bowel and he said he was not sure. Mr Gbinigie realised what he had done and the patient was taken to Birmingham Women's Hospital. When the women's abdomen was opened, the "cavity was full of blood and floating on top was a 20-week-old foetus, largely intact apart from a missing arm and a missing leg". The woman has since recovered from her injuries.

Culled from: BBC News
Generously submitted by: Suzanne

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My girlfriend is going to be an abortion doctor next Halloween. I'm sure that this article will give her great inspiration.

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Morbid Books Du Jour!

Burke has a couple of recommendations:

"I really must recommend two books to you. One is 'New York Noir: Crime Scene Photos from the Daily News Archive" by William Hannigan. It was published in 1999 by Rizzoli International Pictures Inc. There are plenty of crime scene photos in this one as well as suspect mug shots. I highly recommend it. The other book is one I just got called "Scene of the Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archive." Although I have not really gotten into it yet it appears to be very good. It is published by Harry N. Abrams with an introduction by James Ellroy. This book is also highly recommended."

Thanks, Burke! I have already read "Scene of the Crime" and, for comparison, here is my review of it:

Scene of the Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archives

"Scene of the Crime is the latest in a recent influx of collections of crime scene photography, and it has added appeal in that some of the images are of famous cases, such as the Black Dahlia murder and the Manson Family slaughterhouse. The book is laid out in the same manner as most of these books, with black and white images presented in the first half of the book, and information for each photograph at the back. Unfortunately, many of the photographs piqued my curiosity, only to find a sad, unsatisfying, "case information unavailable" comment awaiting me in the back of the book. Still, many of the images are so well-composed and interesting that they could be seen in art museums rather than cold case files, so this is a minor quibble. However, there are also quite a few lesser and uninteresting images as well, which left me feeling a bit cheated given my suspicion that the LAPD coffers are overflowing with many more graphic, historic, and fascinating images. Comparing this book to the classic LA crime gallery Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook serves to further point out this collection's shortcomings. There is nothing in here as punch-in-the-gut brutal as the image of the decapitated baby on the cutting board or as surreal as the peaceful head sitting in the middle of a road after a traffic accident, both from Death Scenes. Taken on its own merits, I might have given the book a five skull rating, but in comparison with its more amazing brethren I'd have to rate it a 4/5 skulls."

Scene of the Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archives

Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective's Scrapbook

New York Noir: Crime Scene Photos from the Daily News Archive

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Morbid Update!

Michelle sends the following update:

"You are probably already aware of the guy in Germany who is in jail for manslaughter after killing and eating a fellow computer specialist. Anyway, he is on trial again because the Supreme Court ruled that his sentence (8 1/2 years) was too lenient."

http://tinyurl.com/m7teo




 



Vulgarities...