July, 2007

July 1, 2007

Today's Unclean Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

So much for recycling: Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Which is why Green Burials are the way to go!



Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Birds do it, bees do it, even you and me do it! Here is the perfect way to introduce the concept of #1 and #2 to your toddler: with pee and poo plush dolls!


Thanks to Magnoire for the link.


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a bizarre bit of animation that starts out slow (not to mention annoying), but has a great pay off in the end.


Thanks to Bri for the link.

July 2, 2007

Today's Symptomatic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Although it's impossible to predict if a young person will grow up to be a serial killer, there are three childhood symptoms that criminologists regard as major danger signals. They are:

1. Enuresis (more commonly known as bed-wetting). Lots of children wet their beds. But this behavior may be a sign of deeper pathology when it persists beyond the age of 12. (More than 60% of serial killers were still wetting their beds as adolescents.)

2. Fire-starting. Children like to play with matches because they are intrigued by the bright, colorful, flickering flames. But budding serial killers carry this interest to a frightening extreme. Their fascination with fire is an early manifestation of their fondness for spectacular destruction.

3. Sadistic activity. Before they are big enough to inflict harm on other human beings, future serial killers get their kicks from tormenting small creatures.

Culled from: The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers


You're worried about your bed-wetting nephew, aren't you?


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Cathy enthusiastically recommends a comic strip for us:

"Submitted for your viewing pleasure. Here is something deliciously wicked, morbidly amusing and occasionally. Down right sick! A daily comic for the Comtesse's disturbed minions!"



Morbid Art Du Jour!

Sandow Birk is an artist who depicts gritty contemporary scenes such as gang fights in South Central Los Angeles, 9/11, the L.A. Riots and other such topics.


I'm particularly fond of his 1994 work, "The Revenge of Lorena Bobbitt".

Kelly shares a bit of art history: "I really liked the painting 'Revenge of Lorena Bobbitt' featured on July 2, since it looks like the artist based it on one of my favorite Baroque paintings, 'Judith Beheading Holofernes' by Artemisia Gentileschi. The story in a nutshell is that Holofernes was a general laying seige to a biblical city, and Judith seduced him and cut off his head while he was drunk, saving the city."

And "The Death Of Kurt Cobain" is particularly grim as well:

Thanks to gsteinma for the link.


July 3, 2007

Today's Crazy Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

After giving birth to a premature baby on an East Oakland street, police say the mother ripped the umbilical cord and walked away Friday afternoon, March 9, 2007, leaving the newborn boy dead or dying in a puddle of blood. The 4:39 p.m. incident in the 1400 block of 65th Avenue left witnesses and veteran investigators stunned. "It's just crazy," said Oakland police Sgt. Tony Jones of the homicide detail. "Once she started spitting out the baby, you have some obligation to get it some type of medical attention. She didn't do that." Jones said an autopsy will determine whether the child was stillborn or whether it died after being abandoned. The mother was arrested, he said, but apparently gave a false name. She remains hospitalized at an undisclosed location and is under guard. Witnesses told police that the woman was walking on the street, stopped and pulled her pants to her ankles and gave birth on the street. "She dropped the baby, ripped the umbilical cord and kept walking," Jones said. Witnesses followed the woman and pointed her out to police as she walked about two blocks from where she had given birth. Jones said the child was born "somewhat premature'' but said the autopsy will determine how far along the child was in development. He said the woman's bizarre behavior is a mystery. "We're waiting to talk to her."

Culled from: SFGate
Generously suggested by: WereAllMadHeer


Ah, Oakland mothers!


I Want My M(orbid)TV!

Alicia sends a heads-up about what sounds like an excellent new series on the History Channel:

"The History Channel has an excellent show called Cities Of The Underworld. It takes you to cities all over the world and they explore the dark sides of them. I happened to catch an old episode visiting Edinburgh and it was AMAZING! They went through the underground city and gave tons of information such as the underground cities were for the poor and all the rich would dump their 'waste' into the underground town so they constantly had feces and urine running through their streets which in turn led to massive amounts of people dying. Anyway, its a great show, anyone with the time should check it out."

Sounds right up my (dark, destitute & secluded) alley!! Time to set the TiVo up for a season pass!



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Now, here's someone with luck on their side!


Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

July 4, 2007

As I listen to a multitude of pyrotechnic explosions outside on this Fourth of July, I'm reminded of one of the most fascinating recent tragedies - the Enschede Fireworks Factory Explosion (originally featured for the March 14, 2004 MFDJ). So, in the spirit of blowing things up, why not revisit...

Today's Explosive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On May 13, 2000 approximately 100 tons of fireworks and other explosives detonated after a fire in the factory of S.E. Fireworks, situated in the middle of the working class housing estate of Mekkelholt in the northern Dutch city of Enschede. In a split second almost 400 houses were reduced to their foundations and another 1,000 damaged. Twenty-two people were killed and nearly 1000 were injured. In August, 2002 Andre De Vries was sentenced to 15 years for intentionally setting the blaze, and in April, 2002 the owners of S.E. Fireworks (Rudi Bakker and Wilhelm Pater) were convicted of importing and selling illegal fireworks, breaking safety codes and violating storage licenses. They were handed a six-month sentence.

Culled from: CNN


There are a couple of amazing videos of this explosion, and rumor has it that the cameraman shooting the videos were killed. In actuality, they all survived, but were obviously quite shaken.



Paradox says: "Cool! The first I heard of this was when I saw it on 'Seconds To Disaster' on the National Geographic Channel. (It's a great show that deconstructs disasters, analyzes them as it retraces the investigation, and then gives you a play-by-play reconstruction.) It was pretty funny when De Vries tried to claim that fireworks residue found on his clothes was from watching some fireworks being set off the night before the big fire - and then they told him that they were talking about large amounts of residue in his underwear..."


A Plethora Of Viscera!

I have redesigned the Asylum Eclectica's merchandise site - A Plethora Of Viscera - so that it now includes merchandise from both the Cafe Press store and the Etsy T-Shirt Shop. Please stop by and have a look. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Asylum Eclectica and the Morbid Fact Du Jour.




In 1965, Jerry Payne made a 16mm time-lapse film of a decomposing pig as part of his graduate studies at Clemson University. The film has recently been resurrected on You Tube with a lovely classical music accompaniment. It's an excellent way to see the insect recycling program in action.


Thanks to Erik for the link.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Nadja sends some accident pictures - it's a wonder the man survived, but thank goodness he did, otherwise we might never get to see these pics!

"I thought you might appreciate this. I dont know if you are familiar with Scott H Biram, he is a 'self proclaimed "Dirty Old One Man Band"', which sums up rather nicely the type of music he plays. He puts on a great show. Well, he was involved in a head on collision with a semi and has been kind enough to post photos of it on his website."


July 5, 2007

Ah yes - there's always a Darwin award recipient - or 50 - during the July 4th week... and so it is only logical that I present to you...

Today's Explosive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A powerful firework exploded in the face of a woman trying to set it off, killing her as her fiance and 8-year-old son watched. Danialle Barse, 27, was unfamiliar with the commercial-grade aerial firework she was using Monday night (July 2, 2007) said Mike Welch, a police detective in this Detroit suburb. "She basically killed herself in front her children and her fiance," Welch said. Barse and another woman were trying to set off a 3-inch mortar bomb in the parking lot of the car wash where Barse worked when it went off as she had her head over it. One round hit the Lincoln Park woman, while the other 25 mortars continued to explode in sequence, keeping rescuers at bay. "The bombs were still going off as I ran up to try and drag her out of the way," witness Jason Dobrovalski told WDIV-TV. "But after I'd seen what had happened, I just ran back to try to save myself because it was too late." No one at the car wash had permission for a fireworks display. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating where the commercial-grade fireworks came from. Barse was also the mother of twin 2-year-old boys

Culled from: Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Skye


Morbid Sightseeing!

I received an interesting e-mail from Gaia regarding my Hinckley Fire Museum travelogue that I thought I'd share:

"I live in Hinckley, on the edge of the gravel pit where those people and livestock crouched to wait out the firestorm. I have to say that I was curious when directed to your site; I wasn't sure what approach you would take to the fire and the aftermath. Someone who apparently is also a fan of the morbid has stolen one of the statues on the edge of the pit commemorating the events of that day. I'm afraid I can't offer you much in the way of morbidity, but I can offer you this. If you are a believer in ghosts, come back to Hinckley. In the pit there are strange lights at night, and sometimes there are more dead people on the street than live ones. While I am a transplant to this town, I have come to appreciate it's history, and I am proud to tell of it to anyone who will listen."

Well, I certainly hope none of *us* would be so rude as to steal a statue commemorating a morbid landmark!

Here's my travelogue on the Hinckley Fire Museum.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Tangento has a marvelous page devoted to all things weird and wonderful! Please give it a look!


July 6, 2007

Today's Piercing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The following description was given by a witness to the first of two mass annihilations of the Czech (Jewish) family camp at Auschwitz which took place on March 8, 1944 and claimed 3,792 men, women, and children:

"[In the dressing room of the crematorium] people's blood-stained and battered heads and faces proved that there was scarcely anyone who had been able to dodge the truncheon blows in the yard. Their faces were ashen with fear and grief... Only a few days ago had Lagerfuhrer [Johann] Schwarzhuber promised them, on his word of honor as an SS leader, that they and their familiies would be going to Heydebreck [an I.G. Farben plant]... Hope and illusions had vanished. What was left was disappointment, despair, and anger.

"They began to bid each other farewell. Husbands embraced their wives and children. Everybody was in tears. Mothers turned to their children and caressed them tenderly. The little ones... wept with their mothers and held onto them. But... when several SS leaders - among them Lagerfuhrer Schwarzhuber and Dr. Mengele - appeared in the doorway of the changing room, those standing near flew into a rage. Suffering and sorrow gave way to unrestrained hatred for those men...

"After awhile I heard the sound of piercing screams, banging against the door, and also moaning and wailing. People began to cough. Their coughing grew worse from minute to minute, a sign that the gas had started to act. Then the clamour began to subside and to change to a many-voiced dull rattle, drowned now and then by coughing...

"It seemed to me that today death came more swiftly than usual. Barely ten minutes had passed since the introduction of the gas crystals when there was quiet in the gas chamber."

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors


Morbid Sightseeing!

Steve O' forwards a Fortean Times article about a fascinating folk art garden in Thailand which depicts the grim reincarnation fate that awaits you if you commit a variety of sins in this life. If you believe in that sort of thing, that is. For me, it's a wonderful slice of morbidity on earth. I'm not positive on the location, though I did find the following: "The Temple of Hell is located at the end of soi (street) 19 in Bangsaen."


Here's another bigger photo gallery - such brilliant art!



Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

What a fantastic shower head! (Though, I suppose, in bad taste considering today's MFDJ.) If only it were on sale!


Thanks to Magnoire for the link.

July 7, 2007

Today's Insistent Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Queen Victoria insisted on being buried with the bathrobe of her long-dead husband, Prince Albert, and a plaster cast of his hand.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Queen Victoria - the original Plaster Caster, even if it was only his "hand"...


Wretched Recommendations!

Alastair has a film recommendation for us:

"Three months ago my older son and I saw a Canadian - made zombie comedy called "Fido" in Toronto. I haven’t laughed so much at such a relatively low–key (i.e. non–Hollywood, non–toilet bowl humour) movie. Plenty of gore, limbs ripped off... The title role is played by a virtually unrecognizable Billy Connolly and in a non–speaking part for such a verbal comedian, he’s hilarious. He and the other zombies are "employed" as domestic servants in a very strange future.

"What I particularly appreciated was that it's set in middle 50's middle America (leafy suburbs, white picket fences, housewives fixing husband his drinkies) and it skewers all these stereotypes. It also uses many classic lines from American movies from the era and since.

"It’s just been released in limited markets in the U.S. so I’m not sure whether it will make it everyone’s way. Please, I urge you, "check local listings". There’s also a website http://www.fidothefilm.com/ . Despite great reviews here, the movie didn’t do big box office hence the now–you–see–it, now–you–don’t approach in the U.S."

I watched the trailer on the website and it looks like a fun film in the "Shaun of the Dead Meets Edward Scissorhands" mold. Unfortunately, per IMDB.Com it's not in wide release. Looks like these are the only theaters currently showing it:

San Francisco - Landmark Lumiere
Seattle - Landmark Varisty
San Diego - Landmark Hillcrest
and Boston - Landmark Kendall Square - all opening July 6th.

Keep your eyes open for the DVD.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Anybody want a castle?


Thanks to Bluevelvet for the link.

July 8, 2007

Today's Filtrated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A 6-year-old Edina, Minn., girl is hospitalized after a freak accident at a swimming pool. Abigail Taylor was severely injured Friday, July 6, 2007 when she sat over an open drain hole in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. According to a posting by her family on the Caring Bridge Web site, the drain's powerful suction tore out part of her intestinal tract. The family's account said it's a "medical miracle" that she's still alive. Her father, Scott Taylor, said that the suction caused a 2-inch tear in Abigail's rectum and pulled out much of her small intestine. Doctors had to remove the part of her intestines that remained. "This could literally be happening if you're holding your child's hand," said the family's lawyer Bob Bennett. "These filtration systems are meant to be covered and secure. You don't think the filtration system will literally tear your organs from your body, and it's not a risk your child would understand." Taylor is in serious condition at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. A lawyer for the family said she was conscious and able to speak but that she faces a series of surgeries and could be in the hospital for some time. According to The Saint Paul Pioneer Press, when the suction, which equals at least 300 pounds per square inch, sucks hair or body parts, it can trap swimmers underwater. The paper reported that this can cause people to drown even if people are trying to pull them away from the drain. Also, an open drain can suction organs out of the body. Bennett said that the swimming pool's drain hole was improperly uncovered. However, the golf club's general manager told the St. Paul Pioneer Press he didn't think anything was wrong with the pool. He referred questions to the attorney for the club's insurance company, who declined to comment.

Culled from: The Denver Channel
Generously submitted by: ~JR~


The poor girl will have to be fed intravenously for the rest of her life. It probably betrays my weight to say that I find that completely horrifying and inconceivable!

I'm sure many of you were also reminded of Chuck Palahniuk's brilliantly ghastly short story "Guts" (from his book "Haunted") when you read this, weren't you?


by Chuck Palahniuk

dotkelidot replies: "Absolutely. I was working in a bookstore when that book came out, and we were fortunate enough to host a reading/signing for Palahniuk. Before he read from his new book, he warned us all that the piece he was about to read was fairly gruesome, and had caused at least one person to faint at every reading he had done before. He also assured us that every story in his new book was true. They were all first-hand stories he had heard from other people throughout his life. Sure enough, as he was nearing the end of the story 'Guts,' a young man (early twenties?) fainted. His knees buckled and he went down, cracking his head on a bookshelf on the way. At first we thought Palahniuk had staged it all, but quickly found out that he hadn't and called 911. Later, when he signed promo posters for the store, he wrote, 'Thank you for being number 71 on the tour - Chuck Palahniuk.' He had done 70 readings before ours, and someone had fainted at each and every one. I'm so glad our store didn't disappoint. The best thing about the reading for me, though, was that for everyone who asked a question after the reading, Palahniuk handed out a (fake, of course) gory dismembered arm, leg, hand or foot. I asked him to sign mine, and now display it proudly on my bookshelf."


Malady Of The Month!

The new Malady of the Month is up! This time around prepare to be horrified by Inguinal Hernias. You'll never appreciate your own genitals so much again!


Thanks to Elizabeth for the suggestion.


Follow-Up Du Jour!

A few days ago I mentioned Green Burials as an environmentally-correct way to shed your mortal coil:


Kellie writes to tell me about her own funeral-themed website:

"Regarding your posting about green burial, I totally agree!! I work as an embalmer and it's a horrible sport. Trying to start a revolution. Check out my website at http://www.Funeralideas.com - It isn't morbid but does contain some unique information."


Urban Exploration!

I've posted this site before, but it's so brilliant I feel compelled to post it again. Fans of urban exploration, please check out this site - it's one of the best.


Thanks to Cathy for the suggestion.

July 9, 2007

Today's Glowing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The "Spanish Chair" was a heavy iron structure in which the victim was seated, with straps around the neck, arms, and upper legs, his feet locked in a pair of iron stocks. A glowing brazier would be placed close to the feet or beneath the seat in order that its heat would gradually spread to all parts of the chair.

Culled from: The History of Torture


Occasional Hell has an image of a variation of the Spanish Chair, with spikes thrown in for extra measure:



Follow-Up Du Jour!

Back on May 27th, I posted an episode of "Ghastly!" featuring photos that showed the horrific aftermath of a knife fight:


Carrie sent me a Snopes link which doesn't confirm where the photos came from, but does give some additional insight:



The Critical Comtesse

The Nazi Doctors
by Robert Jay Lifton

I finally finished reading The Nazi Doctors, Robert Jay Lifton's landmark book, which is an analysis and history of the role that German doctors played in Nazi genocide. Although the book is a great accomplishment, it isn't an easy read. I literally had to slog my way through it night after night, and I ended up doing quite a bit of skimming towards the end. I found the book a disappointing read from a morbid perspective. I expected there to be many ghastly tales of the horrors inflicted on the concentration camp victims, and there were more than a few stories of that nature (most of which I have already used, or will be using, for morbid facts). However, the bulk of the book deals with the psychological factors that caused doctors, who have given an oath to heal the sick, become active participants in mass murder. I suppose for a psychology student it would be quite interesting, but for a morbidologist, not so much. It's a very important book whose existence I applaud, yet cannot recommend as a morbid read.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

If you've ever wanted to see what your own gravestone might look like, the Tombstone Generator offers you that chance.


Thanks to J.M. for the link.

July 10, 2007

Today's Foul Smelling Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man hoping to reconcile with his parents made a grisly find in their Brooklyn apartment, police said: His mother may have been living with his father's corpse for three years. Paul Iversen went to his parents' Bay Ridge apartment on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 to make amends after years of strangement. When he arrived, his mother, Joanne, told him his father, Frank, had died. Then she showed her son the skeletal remains of an adult man, stored under bed covers in her bedroom. The medical examiner was to conduct tests to confirm the identity of the remains, Police Sgt. Mike Wysokowski said. No charges have been filed. Neighbors at the Iversens' building on Bay Ridge Parkway said Joanne Iversen had told them her husband was simply away. "I said, 'I haven't seen your husband,' and she said, 'He's in Philadelphia.' She told others 'Long Island,"' said an upstairs neighbor, Vincent Clements. Several neighbors said they noticed a foul smell emanating from the Iversens' first-floor apartment but couldn't fathom the source. "We complained a lot, but I never would have guessed there was a body inside," said neighbor Carole Clements. All the while, Joanne Iversen continued to interact affably with her neighbors, several said. "She was always outside, always had some sort of story to tell," said longtime resident Roman Rushtlion.

Culled from: WCBS-TV.Com
Generously submitted by: Michael


Isn't it amazing that people don't suspect the worst when there is a foul smell emanating from somewhere? We'd all automatically assume there's a corpse somewhere, wouldn't we?

dotkelidot replies: "Well, I will as of a couple of years ago. I helped a friend of mine move into an apartment in an old Victorian house in December of 2003. A few months later I noticed a horrible smell coming through the vents every time the heater kicked on. I told my friend to complain to his landlord, because I was sure a squirrel or raccoon had died in the furnace room. I kept hounding him, but he never complained - I guess it didn't bother him as much as it did me. Come to find out in March of 2004 that my friend's next door neighbor had died in January, and had been sitting on his couch in front of the TV for three months. The neighbor was known to the landlord as one who occasionally disappeared to go to jail on minor drug charges, or to rehab, so the landlord figured he was just temporarily away. It wasn't until March that the landlord and another neighbor decided to enter the missing man's apartment. They found not only an explanation for the smell, but an explanation for what had been tormenting my friend's cat for the last couple of months. We're sure that the spirit of the dead neighbor had been chasing poor kitty through the apartment - kitty's erratic behavior stopped once the body had been removed."


Morbid Recommendation Du Jour!

Some of you may recall that I reviewed Jon Krakauer's mesmerizing review of the violent history of Mormonism, Under the Banner Of Heaven, awhile back:


Well, Dan writes to tell me about another interesting book dealing with conniving Mormons:

"Nice review of Krakauer's book. Just unbelievable what 'god' allows his followers.

"If you're interested in creepy/kinky aspects of Mormonism, I can recommend 'God Has Made Us A Kingdom' by Vickie Cleverley Speek. It's the story of schismatic Mormon leader James Jesse Strang who led his followers from Wisconsin to Beaver Island (MI) to found 'God's kingdom on earth' in the 1840s/50s. Initially, Strang was a monogamist (one of the reasons he split from Brigham Young after Joseph Smith's death), and moved to the island with his wife and children. Then he (conveniently) discovered some brass tablets which contained more of god's revelations, including that polygamy was righteous. This happened right around the time he'd traveled back to Wisconsin and courted a young woman named Elvira. He couldn't bring her back to the island without first preaching polygamy to soften up his followers, so instead he had Elvira dress as a young man ... his 'nephew' Charlie ... and brought him/her back as his 'assistant.' The charade continued for over a year, though many of his followers saw through it.

"Strang also dictated a very unusual (for the times) form of dress for women, a sort of bloomers, which allowed them to work more efficiently in the fields. In a snit over business dealings, polygamy, bloomers, and politics, Strang was assassinated in 1856 by two of his own followers. Complicit in his assassination was the U.S. Navy, the governor of Michigan, and some say the president of the U.S. (Millard Fillmore could not have a temporal kingdom within the U.S.).

"All this happened on the island where I live. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the assassination, so the Historical Society sponsored a re-enactment on the exact spot. The actors were all middle school kids. It was morbidly twisted in its own way."

Sounds like a fun event, and an interesting read!

God Has Made Us A Kingdom
by Vickie Cleverley Speek


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Cathy sends this to me with the caption, "Why children should be kept on leashes in public places." I'd actually suggest they incorporate them as a regular part of the act.


July 11, 2007

Today's Overcrowded Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The highly respected prisoner doctor Lucie Adelsberger, who worked on the overcrowded Jewish block of the women's hospital at Auschwitz, described a typical hospital scene:

"The sick lie on straw sacks, all jumbled together, one on top of the other, and cannot stretch their sore limbs nor rest their backs. The beds bulge with filth and excrement, and the dead and the decomposing press with their stiffened bodies against the living who, confined as they are, cannot move away. Every illness in the camp is represented here: tuberculosis, diarrhea, rashes induced by crawling vermin, hunger edema where the wasted skeleton has filled itself with water to replace the vanished cell tissue, people with bloodshot weals caused by lashes of the whip, people with mangled limbs, frozen feet, wounds from the electric wire, or who have been shot at for trifles by a trigger-happy SS. They are all in torment, groaning, hungry, thirsty, shivering from cold under their meager coverings and yet fighting for their pitiful lives."

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors


Wretched Recommendations!

Aimee enthusiastically seconds a previous recommendation:

"I see by your archive that you have recommended Tim Cahill's book about John Wayne Gacy, 'Buried Dreams.' I second the recommendation wholeheartedly. It is one hell of a disturbing read. I listened to it on cassette a couple years ago, and it scared me half to death, and I don't scare easily. Having it read aloud, and having a narrator bring Gacy to life, so to speak, was quite unnerving, especially so in the part where Gacy is pretending to be hypnotized and reenacting his crimes. Very graphic too.

"I was fortunate enough to actually get to talk with Ray Hagen, the man who narrated 'Buried Dreams' for the American Printing House for the Blind, and he told me that I wasn't the only one disturbed by that tape: he said it was the hardest book he has ever recorded, and he's done nearly 500. Said he'd leave the studio shaking with horror, and it was hard on the engineers and monitors too. So, just wanted to say you are very right to call it a morbid read. Morbid and a half, I'd say."

Buried Dreams
by Tim Cahill


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Andrew writes to let me know about an excellent morbid comic:

"I don't remember whether you've mentioned reading Something Positive before, and I'm about a month behind on comics, so someone else probably beat me to the punch, but given your previous references to Ed Gein, I thought you might at least enjoy the comment on this one."


July 12, 2007

Today's Clogged Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

After the execution of John Wayne Gacy on May 10, 1994 began, the lethal chemicals unexpectedly solidified, clogging the IV tube that led into Gacy's arm, and prohibiting any further passage. Blinds covering the window through which witnesses observed the execution were drawn, and the execution team replaced the clogged tube with a new one. Ten minutes later, the blinds were then reopened and the execution process resumed. It took 18 minutes to complete. Anesthesiologists blamed the problem on the inexperience of prison officials who were conducting the execution, saying that proper procedures taught in "IV 101" would have prevented the error.

Culled from: Death Penalty Information Center
Generously submitted by: Candle


I'm still upset that they executed Gacy. Serial killers of that caliber don't come around every day!


The Critical Comtesse

Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner
by Susan Wels


I read this Barnes & Noble discount coffee table book over the course of a couple of hours. Although the text is (obviously) rather threadbare, consisting of a basic summary of the building, maiden voyage, sinking, and re-discovery of the Titanic, it's the pictures that make the book worthwhile for Titanic buffs like myself. There are quite a few excellent historic photographs of the ship, but I really love the abundant, high quality color photographs of items recovered from the Titanic debris field. From spitoons to plates to postcards to toys, the lives of the Titanic's ill-fated passengers come alive in their recovered belongings. To anyone who believes that recovering these items is "graverobbing" I say phooey! It's fascinating to realize that these items were laying at the bottom of the ocean all those years.

On the whole, I wouldn't rate this book terribly highly because of its lightweight nature, but it makes for an excellent browse.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Did you know you can buy necklaces made from coal from the Titanic? It's true! And you can just buy pieces of coal too, if you're not the necklace wearing type. Yeah, I know, it's a rip-off, but it's a really cool one!



Morbid Site Du Jour!

The Last Words Browser always makes for a fabulous browse!


Thanks to Remo for the link.

July 13, 2007

Today's Floating Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On Saturday, April 20, 1912, the German liner Bremen passed within a few miles of where the Titanic had gone down six days earlier. "It was a beautiful afternoon," recalled a woman passenger, "and the sun glistening on the big iceberg was a wonderful picture." As the ship drew nearer, however, those aboard could make out small dots floating in the sea. A "feeling of awe and sadness crept over everyone, and the ship proceeded in absolute silence." Looking down over the rail, passengers "distinctly saw a number of bodies so clearly that we could make out what they were wearing, and whether they were men or women. We saw one woman in her nightdress with a baby clasped closely to her breast... There was another woman, fully dressed, with her arms tight around the body of a shaggy dog that looked like a St. Bernard. The bodies of three men, all in a group, all clinging to one steamer chair floated close by, and just beyond them were a dozen bodies of men, all in life-preservers, clinging together as though in the last desperate struggle for life. We could see the white life preservers of many more dotting the sea... The scene moved everyone on board to the point of tears..."

Culled from: Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner


What I wouldn't give to see photographs of that scene...


Wretched Recommendations!

Aimee has a book recommendation:

"Here's a true-crime book I just read recently: 'I Heard You Paint Houses' by Charles Brandt. It's the story of Frank Sheeran, a Mafia hit-man and one-time Teamsters Local president who is very likely the man who actually pulled the trigger on Jimmy Hoffa. Much of the book is Sheeran's first-hand account, and it's very entertaining. Sheeran is almost impossible not to like on some level: he was a very colorful man with quite a sense of humor. You wouldn't trust him as far as you could throw him, but you'd love to have him at your house for dinner.

"What makes the book really morbid is the fact that, with mobsters, the whole concept of friendship as most of us define it can be rendered completely meaningless in the blink of an eye. Sheeran makes clear that he liked and respected Jimmy Hoffa a great deal, but when his immediate 'boss' Russell Bufalino (I listened to this one on tape so I'm only making an educated guess at the spelling of this name) ordered him to give Hoffa a warning to stop denouncing the Mafia in the media, Sheeran understood that it was a death threat. He delivered the message. Hoffa had only that one chance to cease and desist, and when he did not, Sheeran shot him as ordered without hesitation, and apparently no remorse, even though he continued to to describe Hoffa as a 'nice man with a nice family.'

"The title comes from the first words Hoffa ever spoke to Sheeran when they were first introduced by Bufalino. 'Painting houses' was Mafia euphemism for killing people, i.e., painting walls with their blood. The usual follow-up to the expression is 'and I do my own carpentry too' which means 'I will get rid of the body as well, metaphorically building a coffin.'"

I Heard You Paint Houses
by Charles Brandt


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

One of my favorite companies - Despair, Inc. - has come out with an absolutely delightful t-shirt that I'm sure you will adore as much as I do!


Thanks to Bill for the link.

July 14, 2007

Today's Religious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Heaven's Gate was the name of a UFO religion co-led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. The cult's end coincided with the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. Applewhite convinced 39 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship that they believed was hiding behind the comet carrying Jesus; such beliefs have led some observers to characterize the group as a type of "UFO religion."

Thirty-eight cult members, plus Applewhite, the cult's leader, were found dead in a rented mansion in the upscale San Diego community of Rancho Santa Fe, California, on March 26, 1997. The mass death of the Heaven's Gate group is one of the most widely-known examples of cult suicide.

In preparing to kill themselves, members of the cult drank citrus juices to ritually cleanse their bodies of impurities. Their suicide, conducted in shifts, was accomplished by ingestion of phenobarbital mixed with vodka, along with plastic bags secured around their heads to induce asphyxiation. Each member carried five dollars in quarters, reportedly for use on the spaceship (which was to have vending machines and an arcade) to which they would be transported upon their death. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, along with brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes and armband patches reading "Heaven's gate away team."

Culled from: Wikipedia


Here's an interesting video documentary on the Heaven's Gate suicides which shows footage of the bodies, beneath their purple shrouds:


And here's a link to an interview with the lone survivor:


Thanks to Eleanor for the links


Wretched Recommendations!

Stella has a film recommendation for us:

"A few months ago, my friend Tom showed me an online trailer for an independent German movie called "Butterfly; A Grimm Love Story" (IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448400/), about a cannibal who finds a willing victim online, based on the true story of Armin Meiwes, the 'Cannibal of Rotenburg,' and his victim, Bernd Juergen Brande, whom he killed on March 9, 2001 and ate over the course of the next ten months. They met on an online cannibal's chatroom, and Armin was only caught after he went back online, stating he was running out of flesh. So, having heard of it, I was surprised and utterly delighted to find that it was premiering in North America at the SXSW film festival, right here in Austin, Texas! Appropriately, it was shown at midnight, under the title "Grimm Love" (SXSW festival link: http://2007.sxsw.com/film/screenings/film/F6103.html). I even missed Peaches to go see it, but was not disappointed.

"I'd expected it to be a pretty typical psychological horror movie, and I certainly had no problem with that! However, it wasn't scary. It wasn't gory. It wasn't even especially horrifying. The plot is that Katie Armstrong, a college student, becomes obsessed with the case when she hears about it, and this leads her to eventually write her thesis in criminal psychology on it while a grad student in Germany. She studies the men's childhoods; Oliver Hartwin (Meiwes), a lonely young boy controlled by a domineering mother well into his thirties, who invents his only friend. We see Simon Grombeck (Brande), whos mother kills herself when he's a boy because she suspects he's gay. As an adult, he's consumed by such terrible guilt that in spite of his lover's constant reassurances, he craves something that his partner can't give him. He wants to be punished, to be consumed, and relieved. The film is heartbreaking.

"But it was really stunning to me because it wasn't a horror film. The climax wasn't when Oliver bit off Simon's penis, cooked it, and shared it with him; it was when Katie, watching the home recording of the entire thing, sobs intensely and uncontrollably. The camera, instead of watching Oliver's actions, watches Simon's face, but at the same time, doesn't flinch away from Oliver's bloody mouth, or the sight of Simon's butchered limbs and head. Feeling depressed and alone, Katie sypmathizes with the men; heartbroken at their wrenching loneliness, she craves the same thing they reach out to each other for; a person who knows you inside and out, all of the darkest corners of your soul, your most awful thoughts and desires, and WANTS you.

"Like I said, it's incredible. As far as I know, it's not in distribution, but I imagine it's making the film festival circuit this year, so be on the lookout! Also, Armin Meiwes won a suit against the production company that kept the movie from being released into theatres in Germany as "Rohtenburg." The following link is to an article on Meiwes, which is an excellent annendum to the movie concerning the real events, including Meiwes' statement that he wanted to eat someone to have a person to be a part of him, like the little brother he never had."



Morbid Link Du Jour!

Car-Accidents.Com is a huge collection of car crash photos and stories.


Of course, sickos like us will want to go immediately to the Fatal Car Accidents section:


Thanks to nightwisp for the link.

July 15, 2007

Today's Rebellious Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Faced with official persecution by the Ch'ing Dynasty, the White Lotus Society, an illegal religious sect with followers throughout China, began an open revolt in February, 1796. As the revolt spread through central China, rebels were joined by various desperate groups, including bandits practicing martial arts, smugglers, mercenaries, and peasants who were forced into fighting. Seeking to extinguish the rebellion and eliminate the rebel leaders, government troops laid waste to villages and fields, torturing and killing citizens indiscriminately.

The revolt continued for almost ten years, with rebels waging guerrilla warfare from mountain strongholds. The government countered by creating local fortresses big enough to house the peasants and store grain, thus cutting off supplies and additional recruits from the rebels. Government armies were also reinforced by local militias, and by 1805 some 100,000 rebels had been annihilated. Though it ultimately failed, the White Lotus Rebellion marked an important step in the decline of the Ch'ing Dynasty.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History


Wretched Recommendations!

Stella has a film recommendation for us:

"Another excellent horror movie is 'Sublime,' just released into video stores. It's a psychological horror movie, incredibly intense and grim. I loved it, and found it truely sublime; my mother said it was fantastic, but not a movie she ever wanted to see again. It's about a white, upper-middle class man having to face his most primal fears, trapped inside his mind."

Sublime (2007)


Morbid Link Du Jour!

On those days when you're feeling a little too optimistic for your own good, why not visit Dismal World?


Thanks to Danny for the link.

July 16, 2007

Today's Expanding Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Sacrilege!!!! Burning mummies???? Talk about not appreciating your national treasures!

Poet points out: "The construction company was probably British - no respect for any other culture."


Morbid Video!

Have you seen the footage of the head-on collision between two trains? I understand that there were no fatalities, in case you're wondering. I mean, of COURSE you're wondering!


Thanks to Nina for the link.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Who amongst us wouldn't want their picture taken whilst laying on a blood puddle pillow?


Looks like you can buy them here:


Thanks to Jen for the links.

July 17, 2007

Today's Flushed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

While preparing to address the House of Representatives on February 21, 1848 John Quincy Adams suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Adams had risen and loudly exclaimed his "No!" vote to a resolution to present swords to veterans of the Mexican War (which Adams had strongly opposed) when he became flushed and unable to speak. He then clutched his chair and fell into the arms of his fellow House members. Two days later, on February 23, he died with his wife and children at his side in the Speaker's Room inside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.. His last words were reported to have been, "This is the last of earth. I am content."

Culled from: Dead Presidents: Causes of Death
Generously submitted by: Bergie



Nadja sends a fascinating story of suicide and photography within the black metal community:

"Dont know how deep your appreciation for black metal lies, but there was/is a rather legendary black metal band called Mayhem that has a long story of your typical dramas. Many of them. But I am not going to go into all of that here.

"In 1992 the singer Dead was found dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound after his knife had failed him leaving a note that read 'Please excuse all the blood'. So the story goes, he was discovered by another band member, Euronymous, (I just love these names!) who immediately took pictures of the scene. One of these photos was stolen and turned up as the cover for a bootleg 'Dawn of the Black Hearts' several years later. I do enjoy old Mayhem myself but had never actually seen this cover, and of course my curiousity had never wained. Finally found it on Wikipedia, of all places. Here it is:

Dawn Of The Black Hearts

"Euronymous, I guess, admitted to moving the knife into a more visible position and also claimed to have taken bits of the skull and given them to others who eventually had them made into jewelry. Though the last part is all hearsay, it is certainly worth a mention. Rather romantic if I may."

Indeed! I'm sure Dead would have been touched!

Jill writes: "There's actually a book documenting the entire history of this whole ordeal called Lords of Chaos. As for Dead being touched by what Euronymous did, having read the book, I'd say he wouldn't have really cared. More people were probably angry about it. This other guy who was involved with them, I think his name was Bard Faust, stabbed a homosexual in the park for propositioning him. I think it said he wouldn't have been caught if he hadn't been bragging about it. A lot of the people who were part of this black metal scene were also going around burning historical Stave churches as a protest of Christianity, wishing Norway's religion to return to the Norse mythology, hence all the viking imagery. Euronymous also ended up stabbing fellow musician Varg Vikernes in the skull. They said he had to step on his head to pull the knife out. It's a good read full of people trying to be as evil as they had the oportunity to just to prove how evil they were."


A Morbid Read!

Back on November 14, 2006 I featured an MFDJ about the Lions of Tsavo. Here, allow me to refresh your memory:

In March 1898 the British started building a railway bridge over the Tsavo (SAH-vo) River in East Africa. Over the next nine months, two large male lions killed and ate nearly 140 railway workers. Crews tried to scare off the lions and built campfires and thorn fences for protection, but to no avail. Hundreds of workers fled Tsavo, halting construction on the bridge.

Before work could resume, chief engineer Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson (1865-1947) had to eliminate the lions and their threat. After many near misses, he finally shot the first lion on December 9, 1898, and three weeks later brought down the second. The first lion killed measured nine feet, eight inches (3 m) from nose to tip of tail. It took eight men to carry the carcass back to camp. The construction crew returned and completed the bridge in February 1899.

Tom sent me a link to a book written by Patterson about the Lions, in case you're interested. It is available online here:


Poet writes: "About the lions. They made a movie about those lions in 1996 called The Ghost And The Darkness starring Val Kilmer."

July 18, 2007

Today's Kinky Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Tiffany Sutton apparently wanted to drink up her lover on Valentine's Day - literally, authorities said. Police early this morning arrested Sutton, who they believe may have tricked her acquaintance into having "kinky sex" so she could drink his blood. The victim, 45, and Sutton, 23, were lying in bed naked at early Wednesday when Sutton asked if he wanted to be tied up and he consented. But that's when Sutton reportedly pulled out a knife and cut the victim's leg. Sutton reportedly told him that she "likes to drink blood" and made several cuts to his upper body. He also said Sutton drank a "little bit" of his blood. He was able to break free, run out of his home, but Sutton reportedly followed with a pickax. The victim passed out before his friend found him covered in blood called the police.

Culled from: The Arizona Republic
Generously submitted by: Al


Jeez - what a loser! I know people who would pay good money to have sex like that!


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

It's been awhile since we've visited our Happy Tree Friends! So, let's have a look at what those cute lil guys are up to...


Thanks to Steve O' for the link.


Morbid Sightseeing!

Eva writes to let me know of a pair of compelling sounding tours being offered in Quebec City, Canada:

"I write, first of all, to boast about a theatrical production and guided tours will I am currently working for. It is Ghost tours of Québec, followed by the Witchcraft on Trial, which both are currently being presented at Québec, at the Petit Champlain.

"When the settlers arrived in the colony of New France, they thought the had left beind a Europe strife with accusations of witchcraft, and the terror as the Inquisition ... Little did they know , it, had followed them to the shores of Quebec. In 1661, more then 30 years before the Salem witch trials, a colonist was forced to face charges of witchcraft and heresy.

"As for the Ghost Tours of Quebec, it is a nightly tour that lasts 90 minutes. On the tour, we bring you in the most gruesome sites of Quebec, and share the 300 years of strange murders and executions, ghostly tragedies, and hauntings...... And we finish by entering one of Quebecs most haunted buildings, The Cathedral of the Saint Trinity.

"Ghost tours of Quebec have been featured on programs like Creepy Canada for CTV Travel, OLN and Discovery Channel, BBC Kids, CBC Radio, Mystery Hunters, and more.. It cost $17.50 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and free for children under 10.

"You can get more information about the Witchcraft on trial and Ghost Tours of Québec at:"


Sounds fascinating to me! Thank you for the heads-up, Eva!

July 19, 2007

Today's Emaciated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Dr. O., a prisoner doctor in Auschwitz described how, when a selection for the gas chambers was expected soon after he arrived on the men's ward, he had been confused by his prisoner colleague's insistence that he urge inmates to get down off their bunks, even beat them if necessary: this, it turned out, was the only way to save their lives. After the two doctors had managed to get all but a few of the patients down, the selection began:

"They announced, 'Achtung, Lagerarzt!' ['Attention, camp doctor!']. A young man, nicely built, thin, tall, an SS officer, came in, followed by a noncommissioned officer. All, in turn - naked - go before the doctor, running past him, chest out, in a very military fashion... Whoever has not seen this military bearing in a skeleton does not know what degradation and contempt are... If a skeleton walks stooped over, slowly, slowly, that is a skeleton presenting a normal appearance, one might say even a decent appearance. But to see this procession of skeletons marching at a military pace, chest out, shoulders thrown back, and coming to a stop abruptly - well, it is something saddening, debasing, beyond description. A skeleton marching that way - the edema in the scrotum swinging, the completely emaciated scrotum swinging - that is something one cannot forget."

Culled from: The Nazi Doctors


Paints a pretty picture, don't he? <shudder>


Morbid Art Du Jour!

Remember the Morbid Snowglobe artwork that I featured a few months ago?

Well, the same artists have created eerie life-sized human wax "candles" that are worth taking a look at as well:

Thanks to Patrick for the link.


Antique Morbidity!

Angela sends a link to some EXCELLENT morbid artwork from the turn-of-the-century. I'd KILL for an original of one of these - wouldn't you?

"BibliOdyssey is displaying an assortment of morbid illustrations from calendars of the Antikamnia Chemical Company, a turn-of-the-(20th)-century drug company that eventually went out of business after selling a remarkably toxic blend of a pine-tar derivative mixed with addictive stuff such as codeine and quinine. (The admixture was supposed to be a 'painkiller,' hence the name of the company, anti-kamnia, against pain. How much codeine did you say was in there?) Hypercephalic skeleton dressed up day-of-the-dead style, a 'heady' combination of morbidity and cuteness -- how can this not be ripe for re-issue?"

I second that emotion!!!

July 20, 2007

Today's Scientific Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


I wonder if they stuffed Francis with snow to see if it would preserve him?


The Critical Comtesse

I just finished reading a book called Underworld: Sites of Concealment, which is a collection of photographs of underground locations throughout Germany by Peter Seidel. Although the photographs themselves are excellent, it's best if you skip the forward written by Manfred Sack. Rarely have I read such pompous drivel! Here's a typical example: "Where else could one find reality and myth, banality and mystery, refuge and menace as close to each other as under the earth?" Hmmm... I don't know... maybe in a movie? Anyway, you don't need to read the foreward to appreciate the book. The photos - depicting such lovely places as water retention facilities, sewers, abandoned factories, Gestapo prisons, World War II bunkers, grottos, Roman ruins, crypts, caves, subway stations, and the like - are eerie and gorgeous, and an explanation of each location is located at the end of the book. I would recommend this for fans of urban exploration photography.

Underworld: Sites of Concealment
by Peter Seidel


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Ann

"I'm an apartment manager at a small urban housing complex, and I had been at my job for about three years when this incident occured. One of the residents had a violent boyfriend that I had repeatedly attempted to ban from our property, and one night for whatever reason, he stabbed the woman and her young girl (his daughter) to death in their kitchen. He then, apparently, changed clothes and went off to kill himself, leaving her apartment locked. We knew nothing until getting word of a suicide jumper and thinking, well. That's weird.

"Later, alerted by the family I went to the apartment to check on her. I must have been convinced she was asleep or something, or perhaps I'm just stupid, but instead of just letting the police in, I went on in myself and found the bodies in the small kitchen in what can only be called a wash of gore. Blood was tracked everywhere through the apartment, splattered up the walls and even on the ceiling. I'm told that the cleaning crew we hired had to wash the tile floor twice, because after the first time they finished mopping up, more blood began to seep up from the grout. I am a lifelong devotee of the morbid, but the sight was too much for me, and I ran out of the door, crashing into the frame with enough force that I had a spectacular bruise up my arm. (I should have taken pictures. Of my arm, that is.)

"That afternoon, my boss came into my office and dropped the woman's keychain on my desk. It was wet from where the police had retrieved it from the young man's body and dipped it in bleach. I say 'dipped' because I found a few days later they didn't actually scrub it. I put it on my filing cabinet for a few days, and one morning it occured to me that I needed to give the mailman the post office box key, so I picked up the ring to remove it. It was then that I realized the decorative keychain, a foam flip-flop advertising some clothing line, was streaked with dried clots of blood.

"After getting over that shock, I left the keychain under an old cloth right where I dropped it on the filing cabinet. Nearly a month passed. I still had not wholly recovered from the experience, but I had to do something with the damn keys, and it was a bit too late to return them to the family. I wound up just wrapping it in the cloth and taking it home, where it still resides."

Yes, you should have taken pictures... but not of your arm!!! Alas... another lost opportunity!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Well, Haunted U.S.A. is chockfull of them!


July 21, 2007

Today's Heartburn-Inducing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Judging from the various reactions of those present at the execution, the calmest person in the Texas death chamber on the evening of September 23, 1998 was former electrician and soon-to-be corpse David Castillo, who had been convicted of slashing a 59-year-old liquor store cashier to death. While his father and three brothers cursed loudly and pounded on the glass wall separating witnesses from the condemned man, Castillo waited patiently for his death and philosophized on human nature. "There is no man that is free from all evil, nor any man so evil as to be worth nothing," the 34-year-old mused while preparing for his demise. Although he never accepted responsibility for the death of the middle-aged store clerk and blamed the crime instead on a nameless acquaintance who supposedly fled to Mexico after the murder, Castillo accepted his punishment with a grain a salt - and a mountain of Mexican food. "There are some things you just can't fight," he said. "Little people always seem to get squashed."

His last meal: 24 tacos, 2 cheeseburgers, 2 whole onions, 5 jalapeno peppers, 6 enchiladas, 6 tostadas, one quart of milk and one chocolate milkshake.

Culled from: Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals From Death Row


Two whole onions???? Was Shrek being executed???

I just heard that Tammy Faye Messner (Bakker) passed away. At one time I would have thought she was just a religious wacko con artist loser like her ex-husband, but when I saw her on the Surreal Life, she came off as extremely kind, open and accepting of all lifestyles. Her 11-year struggle with cancer has been excrutiating to watch and if you saw her Larry King interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWtMgBKOHuw) last week, you were probably shocked at how emaciated and frail she had become. Rest in peace, Tammy.


"My [Friend's] Brush With Morbidity" by ipushufall

"A friend of mine was telling me a story the other day - we'll call him Rich. Anyways, he was working part time at his parents' carpet store one summer. At the end of the day, his mom gave him bus fare to get home. Little Rich was 16 at the time and decided to hitch a ride home and buy cigarettes with the money instead. He stuck his thumb out on the highway and eventually a man in a red Chevelle pulled over and gave him a ride home. In an effort to show his gratitude, Rich invited the man up to watch the Cubs game and have a few beers.

"The guy came upstairs and hung out with Rich. They started getting a little drunk and he started saying some pretty off the wall stuff. He told Rich that he's a bisexualand asked if he had ever been in an orgy. This man was 30 something at the time and Rich was confused as to what this had to do with baseball. Finally, the man gets around to propositioning my friend for a blowjob. Rich said no, and told him to get out.

"According to Rich, the guy gave him this really demonic look and charged him. There was a physical scuffle, but my friend fought him off and knocked him down the stairs to the landing. He looked up and told Rich that he'd be back for him and left.

"A few years later, our hero saw the dude's picture on the evening news! Apparently they had found about 30 bodies of teenage boys in the crawl space under his house. his name was John Wayne Gacy!"

Okay, I don't know if I believe this one - seems really unlikely. What is baseball but a bunch of men fondling big phallic shaped sticks, catching balls, and adjusting jockstraps and this guy claims that he doesn't know what orgies have to do with it? Yeah, right, buddy. Nice try!



Here's one of the most disgustingly cringe-worthy videos I've ever seen. It shows the treatment of a Nigerian patient with breast lesions and multiple sinuses containing Tumbu fly larvae. (Fourteen separate larvae were eventually extracted from the breast.) Thankfully, this is such a rare condition that this is the first documented case of infestation of this sort. Let's hope it stays that way!!


Thanks (but NO thanks!) to Sandy for the link.

July 22, 2007

Today's Suicidal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Poor little cells. Choose Life!!!!!!


Urban Exploration!

Here's an excellent site of photographs and history regarding Hart Island - the potter's field of New York City. I want to go there now!!!


Thanks to Dave for the link.



Here are some random, undocumented, but extremely creepy pictures that purport to show the aftermath of Chernobyl. (If you read further down in the comments, you'll see that some of them actually result from Agent Orange instead.) Whatever the cause, some of the pictures induce quite a shudder!


Thanks to Cathy for the link.

July 23, 2007

Today's Very Unusual Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenager in Fayette County, Georgia died after a very unusual accident. Police say 18-year-old Brandon Buster was a passenger in a car Sunday, April 1, 2007. Officials say Buster felt ill and was leaning out the car door to vomit, when he hit a mailbox. The car was going about 15 miles per hour at the time because the driver was slowing down to let Buster out. Buster was pronounced dead at Piedmont-Fayette hospital. Police say their investigation will continue. No charges have been filed.

Culled from: WSBTV.Com
Generously submitted by: Magnoire


Hmmmm... A guy named Buster gets his head busted on a mailbox on April 1. April Fool's or April's Fool?


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

CCGypsie sends a heartwarming story:


I don't usually like these heartwarming stories, but this one is truly interesting...

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the
elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring
at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Are you (a rich person) looking for that perfect romantic gift for the weirdo in your life?

Why not a maggot charm or an earthworm necklace or a heart charm?


Alas, all out of my price range.

Thanks to J. Bo for the link.

July 24, 2007

Today's Poetic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Bertrand de Born (1140-1214) was a French troubadour who expressed his love of battle in this touching verse:

My heart is filled with gladness when I see
Strong castles besieged, stockades broken and overwhelmed,
Many vassals struck down,
Horses of the dead and wounded roving at random.
And when battle is joined, let all men of good lineage
Think of naught but the breaking of heads and arms,
For it is better to die than be vanquished and live. . . .
I tell you I have no such joy as when I hear the shout
"On! On!" from both sides and the neighing of riderless steeds,
And groans of "Help me! Help me!"
And when I see both great and small
Fall in the ditches and on the grass
And see the dead transfixed by spear shafts!
Lords, mortgage your domains, castles, cities,
But never give up war!

Culled from: A Distant Mirror


Old Bertrand had a way with words, didn't he?


Morbid Art Du Jour!

Here's an excellent feature from Yuppie Punk zine about Serial Killer Art. Manson and Gacy get A's!

Killer Art

Thanks to Remo for the link.


Wretched Recommendations!

Here's a book that we Ill-Annoy-ers might want to look out for:

The Illinois Road Guide To Haunted Locations

Let's keep our fingers crossed that it isn't some lame "see the orb" type book.

Thanks to lethaljesus for the link.

July 25, 2007

Today's Extremely Frightening and Distressing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Horrified diners watched in shock as a maniac sliced off his manhood in a crowded pizza restaurant on April 24, 2007. The 35-year-old Pole burst into the Zizzi eaterie in central London and grabbed a knife from the kitchen. He then leapt on a table and dropped his trousers as customers fled screaming. A witness said: “There was blood everywhere. Everyone ran out of the place.” Surgeons battling to save the severed willy tried to sew it back on in the first UK op of its kind. Quick-thinking cops recovered the organ from the restaurant floor after subduing its crazed owner with CS gas. The manhood was packed in ice and taken with the man to London’s St Thomas’s Hospital. A spokesman there confirmed doctors had attempted to re-attach it, but the hospital refused to say whether the procedure had been successful.

The 200-seater restaurant on The Strand in central London was packed with runners and spectators from Sunday’s Marathon. Sales rep Stuart McMahon, who was eating supper with his girlfriend, said: “This guy came running in then charged into the kitchen, got a massive knife and started waving it about. Everyone was screaming and running out as he jumped on a table, dropped his trousers and popped his penis out. Then he cut it off. I couldn’t believe it. The staff were really upset and there was blood everywhere.” Police sped to the scene and restrained and handcuffed the man. Several diners were treated for shock by ambulance crews. A spokesman for the Zizzi restaurant chain said: “It all happened in a matter of seconds and was obviously extremely frightening and distressing. The manager and staff bravely helped evacuate the restaurant.”

Last night cops were trying to establish the Pole’s background. He had left no identification in the clothing he discarded. A source said: “We believe he’s Polish and 35. We don’t know if he has a history of mental illness, but he’s clearly not a well boy.”

Culled from: The Sun Online
Generously submitted by: Dave


"Everyone was screaming and running out as he jumped on a table, dropped his trousers and popped his penis out." Poor guy. It must have been a pretty monstrous penis to cause people to scream and run out. No wonder he cut it off!

Elizabeth points out: "Amusingly, 'zizi' means 'penis' in French baby-talk slang."


Wretched Recommendations!

Riley has a ghastly book recommendation for us:

"This book is full of gore, in color. I came across it in a used book store. You won't be disappointed."

Muerte: Death In Mexican Popular Culture
by Harvey Stafford

I have this one in The Library Eclectica, although I haven't actually read it yet. I just paged through it. Here are my initial thoughts:

"Another gruesome book - this one almost entirely in vivid color (and I will warn you that red is a very prevalent color). This book examines the 'death tabloids' like Alarma! that display graphic murder victims on their front covers as cheerfully as Oprah or Whitney on the cover of the Enquirer. In addition to numerous stomach-wrenching Mexican tabloid death scenes, the book also examines the proliferation of death images in Mexican artwork (the 'Day Of The Dead' celebration being the obvious example of this). Some of the paintings shown are almost more shocking than the pictures. Definitely not for the weak of stomach."


Urban Exploration!

Robert stumbled across an excellent U.K. urban exploration site.


July 26, 2007

Today's Detailed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1884-1945) detailed his funeral wishes in a four-page document, written in 1937: a simple service to be held in the East Room of the White House; that he should not lie in state; that a gun carriage and not a hearse be used; that his casket (coffin) be of a simple design and made of dark wood; that he was not to be embalmed or hermetically sealed; and that his grave be not lined with bricks, cement or stones. FDR's mistake was to place his instructions in a private safe, where they were discovered a few days after his funeral. As it turned out, Roosevelt was embalmed, was placed in a hermetically sealed coffin made of fine bronze-coloured copper and then was conveyed in a Cadillac hearse to a cement-lined vault. At least he did not lie in state.

Culled from: Death: A History of Man's Obsessions and Fears


And what have we learned from Franklin? Make sure that someone (probably more than one person, in case the other person should die with you) knows where your funeral wishes are hidden!


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's the greatest Peanuts special ever: Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown!


Thanks to Steve O' for the link.


Morbid Sightseeing!

For anyone who is interested in seeing AND photographing the Tower Of London (and other sites as well), Photo Walks Of London has a great deal! Not only do you get a tour of The Tower, but you'll also receive instruction and advice on photographing it. Sounds like a nice way to spend the afternoon to me!


Thanks to Wilf for the link.

July 27, 2007

Today's Statistical Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


Pretty sick when you think about it!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

I'm sure you've probably heard about the cat that can predict the deaths of nursing home patients with "uncanny" accuracy? It doesn't surprise me - you know how cats like to suck the breath away from people!

Anyway, in case you're out of the loop, here's the article, with a lovely photo of Oscar:


Thanks to Jacqui for the link.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Here's the perfect way to enliven your next party: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Lights! They're perfect for Christmas too!

Thanks to Christina for the link.


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Have you ever wondered how much your cadaver is worth? I know, who hasn't? Well, now's your chance to find out! Mine is, sadly, only worth $4,675.


Thanks to Aeron for the link.

July 28, 2007

Today's Sexual Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Lockport police are investigating an apparent attack by a pit bull on a small boy. The 2-year-old is recovering at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo after police say he was attacked and sexually assaulted by his family’s pit bull. Police said the toddler was in his home on Washburn Street about 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, 2007 when the pit bull attacked. According to police, the dog sodomized the boy. “The dog sexually attacked the kid and caused some pretty significant injuries,” said Lockport Police Detective Capt. Larry Eggert. The toddler had just removed his own dirty diaper and asked his mother for a new one. She sent him into the living room to get a new diaper and heard him scream a short time later. The mother went into the living room and reportedly saw the dog had mounted the boy. The woman yelled, which spooked the dog, sending it running out the door and onto the porch, still attached to the boy. Neighbors reportedly saw what was happening and helped the mother beat the dog to get it away from the boy. The dog has been impounded at the Niagara County SPCA as the investigation continues. Eggert said a veterinarian will be brought in to take DNA samples from the dog. “(The vet will) compare DNA taken from the boy to kind of verify it happened,” Eggert said, later adding, “I have never, ever heard of an assault quite like that.” The dog was a 2-year-old pit bull that had been with the family since it was a puppy. Sunday’s incident was the first time the family had any problems with the dog being aggressive or biting. The boy underwent surgery on Sunday night and may need more reconstructive surgery in the future.

Culled from: The Niagara Gazette
Generously submitted by: Chris


Incidentally, there has been an outpouring of public support for the dog, since people suspect it wasn't the dog that harmed the boy. (Some people can be sooooooo suspicious!) And there have been numerous requests to adopt the dog as well. Hmmmmmm... I wonder what could possibly possess people to want to adopt a dog like this? (Yes, I can be suspicious too!)


I Want My M(orbid)TV!!!

All you lucky peeps who still have HBO post-Sopranos have a delightfully disturbing documentary to look forward to - premiering on August 6th at 7:30 pm ET/PT!


Thanks to Katchaya for the heads-up!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a subtle, yet creepy, video for you.


Thanks to Danny for the link.

July 29, 2007

Today's Grisly Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A teenage Japanese boy has been arrested after walking into a police station carrying a severed human head and claiming to have killed his mother. The 17-year-old went to a police station in the town of Aizuwakamatsu, north of Tokyo, carrying the head in a sports bag. The beheaded body of a woman was later found at the boy's home. This is the latest in a series of grisly killings in Japan, a country renowned for its low crime rate. On Monday a severed human leg was discovered in a small river in central Tokyo. In January, a 32-year-old woman was arrested after she confessed to killing her husband, dismembering him with a saw and dumping body parts around Tokyo. In the latest case, the boy, said to be a local high school student, reportedly told police he killed his mother with a knife during the night as she slept, and had acted alone. Japanese press said the boy lived with his young brother, separately from their parents. Their mother was believed to have been visiting them on Monday. The teenager was reported to have undergone psychiatric treatment at some point in the past. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki expressed his alarm at the reports. "If it's true, it's horrifying," he said. Aizuwakamatsu is located in Fukushima prefecture, some 200km (125 miles) north of Tokyo.

Culled from: BBC
Generously submitted by: Patrick


I wonder if they're blaming the rise in crime on those violent Japanese horror movies?


Follow-Up Du Jour!

Yesterday's MFDJ was about an alleged rape of a toddler by a pit bull. I mentioned that some people were, perhaps, a wee bit on the suspicious side and thought that it wasn't a dog that caused the injuries. Well, looks like they may well be right. Jaclyn writes with the following information:

Hey, I read about this a while ago on a forum, and apparently there were signs of previous abuse according to a nurse who treated him. There was a thread on another forum about it -

The post from the nurse:

ok... i didnt read the article but im not even going to, because that kid was one of my patients and in the two years ive been at that hospital that was the absolute worst thing ive ever seen. the kid was actively bleeding for over four hours. he had a perforated rectum, colon, and large intestine. he also suffered a head injury and had an altered mental status and was continually going unresponsive. when the surgeons got him to the operating room they found extensive damage and.... OLD SCARS. this kid was abused more than once and now will wear a colostomy bag for probably the rest of his life, if he even wakes up. theyre not sure if it was even the dog, because mom told us multiple stories, about how she pulled the dog off the kid, the neighbor pulled the dog off the kid, then the cops pulled the dog off the kid. police reports stated that dog and child were seperate upon arrival. so who knows. its completely fucked up, and something that we could not find any record of ever previously happening. i hate child abuse cases.

Timothy counters: "I have to say, I'm a bit skeptical about that post from the alleged nurse. In this country, there's this thing called patient privacy. I seriously doubt that any nurse would post medical information on the web. Doing so would certainly get him/her fired, as well as losing their certification to practice..."



Here's a nice picture of an idiot being gored by a bull during the Pamplona, Spain bull run on July 12, 2007. Of course you know that I always root for the bulls! And that's not just because I live in Chicago!



Morbid Trinkets!

Desmodus sends us word of the latest and greatest morbid trinkets from our friends at Archie McPhee!

Look! It's a Despair pennant!! You just know I have to get one of these for my gloomy abode! Goooooooooooooooooooo(re) team!

Crime Scene Tape Bandages! These are even better than the skull and crossbones ones that I just used up!

And what back to school ensemble would be complete without a What Would A Zombie Do Spin Folder?


July 30, 2007

Today's Gradual Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Torture on the "rack" could take various forms, not always involving stretching the victim's body. In Lisbon in 1753, for example, an Englishman named John Coustos was fastened to the rack by his ankles, with a collar about his neck. Ropes were then wound around his arms and legs, and through holes in the frame, and gradually drawn tighter and tighter, so that they cut through his flesh to the bone.

Culled from: The History Of Torture




Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Looking for that special something for your special someone? Well, nothing says "I love you and if you try to leave me you'll be very, very sorry" like a Voodoo Toe Necklace!


"My Brush (Er, Crush?) With Morbidity" by Tom

"I'm 40 years old and I've had quite a few brushes with morbidity but the one that stands out the most was more than a brush, it was more like full on contact.

"When I was 19, I was working in a carwash alone and sending customers through. The way it worked was a customer would drive up, pay to go through. Then the costumer would drive the right side wheel into a track and a roller would roll up and push the car from behind. There was a switch that stopped extra push rollers from coming up and rolling along the top of the track, only the switch didn't work, so the rollers kept popping up.

"As the custumer reached the end of the track, she beeped her horn. I took a step forward to see what the problem was, intending to step over the track but instead stepping into it. I wiggled my foot to pull it loose but a roller came along and pinned my foot length-wise against a plate under the guide rail along the sides of the track. At that moment, I remember thinking, 'My foot is going to be crushed and I cant stop it.' I braced myself as my foot was mangled, toes snapped and bones crushed flesh ripped open.

"When the whole thing was over, I hobbled into the office and pulled my boot off. My foot, between the big toe and the second was split open like a y. The second toe was snapped off and hanging by a thread. Bones potruded through my foot, all this but there was little blood. I had gripped my ankle so tightly that the bloodflow was cut off good and proper. In fact the emergency workers had to pry my hands away from my ankle because I couldn't seem to loosen my grip. To this day friends still call me 'Old Split Foot' an old European nickname for the Devil."

Old Split Foot! What a fabulous nickname. Too bad you had to get it the hard way!!! Ouch.

July 31, 2007

Today's Suicidal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry


That's because if you can't make it there, you'll never make it anywhere, so why go on living?


New Morbid Releases!

Here's a book that sounds like an interesting read:

Asylum: A Mid-Century Madhouse and Its Lessons about Our Mentally Ill Today
by Enoch Callaway

Here's the Amazon review:
" In his witty and warm history of Worcester State Hospital, founded in 1833 as the first state insane asylum established in this nation, Dr. Enoch Callaway reflects not just on the events in this fortress-like place, but also on how those events parallel advances and failures in the field of psychiatry itself. In addition to patient/psychiatrist vignettes showing treatment techniques of the period--from farm work to early electric shock therapy and insulin treatments that put schizophrenics in a 90-minute coma--Callaway also offers sharp insight into "natural" treatments that showed remarkable results and unexpected recoveries stimulated by tools as simple as a hand mirror. At times, Worcester may seem brutal, at other times its simplicity seems pure and caring. There are marvelous successes, and times when the facility seems no more than a warehouse for the mentally ill. Callaway argues that this history offers lessons about the treatment--and options for better treatment--of the mentally ill in society today. Throughout the text, the author weaves in comparisons to books and movies about the mentally ill and the facilities that have housed them. He includes literary works such as Madness in the Streets, Out of the Shadows and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, as well as cinematic classics like The Snake Pit, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and A Beautiful Mind. Each either reflects or directly opposes procedures, patients, treatments, tribulations, or compassion as they existed at Worcester. Asylums such as Worcester were places that sheltered the mentally ill from harm they might do themselves and others, and from the criminal justice system. With asylums near extinct now, the mentally ill are again being herded into the criminal justice system where they get little to no mental health care. Can the successes and failures of a hospital that closed a half-century ago guide us toward something better? Readers from all walks of life will find this text at once absorbing, disturbing, amusing, painfully serious, and tremendously insightful."



Are you disappointed that you didn't go to medical school and never got to perform autopsies? Now you can see what it's like!


Thanks to Brandon for the link.