August, 2008

August 6, 2008

Today's Deafening Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For thirteen years the volcano Mayon on Luzon, the Philippines, had remained silent, so that villagers had dared cultivate the fertile slopes of the once active volcano. All that changed suddenly at 8:00 a.m. on February 1, 1814, when the volcano exploded in eruption, blasting forth a thick column of burning lava, flying stones, sand, and ash. The 20,000 villagers in the area fled for their lives while the volcano bombarded them with hot stones and lava. Raining down for two hours, the stones piled thirty feet deep in places and crushed or seriously injured many of the fleeing villagers. People ran with tables, chairs, boards, even tea trays, held over their heads for protection. Those who took shelter in buildings were crushed or burned out as flaming cinders ignited houses and churches. Screams were obliterated in the volcano's deafening roar, and soon a dense cloud of soot and smoke plunged the area into darkness. When the sky finally cleared at 2:00 p.m., five village had been completely destroyed, and the ground was littered with the bodies of some 1,200 people who had been killed.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History


Urban Exploration!

So, lately, I've stumbled across some like-minded souls in the Chicago area who are enthusiasts of urban exploration. It's been a thrilling experience so far to finally dare to tread in abandoned buildings with camera in hand. My previous explorations were in an abandoned candy factory and a trade school, but this past week, I was able to explore an abandoned hospital! And best of all, we managed to sneak into the morgue and get some shots (even though it is apparently still in use). It was a jolly good time, and I thought I'd share the images I took:



Thanks to Rutybear I have just discovered the disturbing world of Australian anti-speeding commercials. Oh, if only America had the bottle and intelligence to run commercials like these!

"Anti-speeding ads:

Here are a couple of great anti-smoking ads too:

August 10, 2008

Today's Non-Voting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Just before his death by lethal injection on Friday, July 25, 2008, Christopher Emmett said, "Tell the governor he just lost my vote." Emmett argued that Virginia's execution methods were unconstitutional and Gov. Tim Kaine declined to intervene

Culled from: Time Magazine
Generously donated by: Jacqui


Update Du Jour!

I made another trip to Michael Reese Hospital on Friday. You can see some new additions at my Flickr gallery:


Atrocious Artwork!

I wasn't sure whether to call this art or delicious, but Stephen J. Shanabrook has created a box of chocolates made entirely from wounds and body parts cast in a morgue. How cool is that?

Thanks to John for the link.


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Liz

"This summer I was lucky enough to secure an internship as an autopsy technician with one of the busiest coroner's offices in the state. My job was to assist the forensic pathologist by opening the body and removing all the organs so the doctor could examine them.

"Most bodies that were examined had not been dead long and so their gross dissections were not too bad. There were those days though that one would come in that was pretty badly decomposed. The large walk-in cooler was at the far end of the office from where the front door was located so you knew it was going to be a fun day when 'the smell' greeted you at the front door. Dissection of a decomposing body is not pleasant by any means, but the worse part is when you first open the cavity and all the built up gases have a chance to escape. After that, you tend to forget the smell.

"One of the more 'fun' ones was the body that came in covered in maggots. We opened the bag to fingerprint the body and as soon as the bag was opened the maggots came spilling out like water and covered the cement floor. Luckily it's just loud enough in there that I couldn't hear the infamous 'rice crispy' sound that they make - that internship ruined enough food for me as it was. After we finished fingerprinting, we poured a copious amount of chloroform in the bag to stun them long enough to finish our examination. We lucked out that day and the person had enough medical history that we weren't required to perform an autopsy."

"Rice crispy" sound? <shudder>


August 19, 2008

Today's Unbearable Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy. Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face. "I woke up because the pain was unbearable," Camejo said, according to a report on Friday in leading local newspaper El Universal. His grieving wife turned up at the morgue to identify her husband's body only to find him moved into a corridor -- and alive. Reuters could not immediately reach hospital officials to confirm the events. But Camejo showed the newspaper his facial scar and a document ordering the autopsy.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Ken


Poor morticians! They're not used to having to worry about the cosmetics of their stitches. Stitching up a live one must have been really stressful!!


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Paula stumbled across a brilliant lamp that, unfortunately, looks like a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Too bad - I'd purchase this in a flash!


Morbid Sightseeing!

Steve sent me a link to his Flickr page with photos of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans that were taken after the cemetery re-opened post Katrina. It was a relief to see that the cemetery did not suffer any apparent damage from the deluge.

Here's a link to Steve's photos:

And here's the travelogue that I made of my 2002 visit to the cemetery:


August 24, 2008

Today's Lethal Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In the short time before an execution by lethal injection, the prisoner is prepared for his death. This can include a change of clothing, a last meal, and a shower. The prisoner is taken to the execution chamber and two IV tubes are inserted in to his arms; a saline solution is fed through the tubes. These tubes are then fed through the wall in to an anteroom from where the execution will be carried out. The anteroom contains direct telephone connections to officials who have the power to stay the execution. Once the IV tubes are connected, the curtains are drawn back so that witnesses may watch the execution, and the prisoner is allowed to make his last statement.

Unless a stay is given, the execution begins. There can be one or more executioners, and sometimes in the case of multiple executioners, the lethal dose is given by only one so that no one knows who delivered it. (Wusses - DeSpair) The executioners are shielded from the view of the prisoner and witnesses. The drugs can be delivered by a machine, but due to the fear of mechanical failure, most US states prefer to manually inject the drugs in to the IV. The drugs are then administered in the following order:

Sodium thiopental: This drug, also known as Pentathol is a barbiturate used as a surgical anesthetic. In surgery, a dose of up to 150mg is used; in execution, up to 5,000mg is used. This is a lethal dose. From this point on if the prisoner is still alive, he should feel nothing.

Pancuronium bromide: Also known as Pavulon, this is a muscle relaxant given in a strong enough dose to paralyse the diaphragm and lungs. This drug takes effect in 1-3 minutes. A normal medical dose is 40 - 100mcg per kilogram; the dose delivered in an execution is up to 100mg.

Potassium chloride: This is a toxic agent which induces cardiac arrest. Not all states use this as the first two drugs are sufficient to bring about death.

Saline solution is used to flush the IV between each dose. Within a minute of two after the final dose is given, a doctor declares the prisoner dead. The body is then sent to the coroner for verification and sometimes an autopsy and is released to the family for burial or is buried by the state.

Culled from: ListVerse.Com
Generously submitted by: Jason


What's up with that whole "multiple executioners but only one delivers the lethal dose so nobody knows who did it" thing? Talk about irrational rationalizations! "I'm not a murderer because maybe I didn't actually kill them even though I pushed the death button." Oh, come on! A killer's a killer! I'm no fan of the death penalty (far from it), but at least in the old days the executioner did his job without excuses.


New Morbid Flickr Group!

In continuing my Flickr obsession, I decided that the existing Morbid Sightseeing group needed a ghastly sibling. Therefore, I have created a new group for the morbidly inclined entitled Something Horrible Happened Here. This group will contain photographs of places where something horrible occurred along with an explanation of what happened at that spot. It can be historical or personal, of great import or of small import, just so long as the story is interesting... and morbid.

* At this intersection, I got into a car accident and broke my leg.
* In this alley, John Dillinger was shot and killed.
* This is the chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.
* Someone jumped to their death from this building in 1987.

I think you get the idea.

If you have anything that fits the theme that you'd like to contribute, please join up and add it to the pool!


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

"Kreepsville Industries presents Cereal Killers. A spooky, kooky coffin table cartoon art book that has been in the works since 2006. This creepy, crawly treat features over 70 terrorfying takes on some of your favorite breakfast cereal's, and some original ones by some of the top animation artists and illustrators from today!"

I don't know if the book has been released yet, but the website features the covers, including my personal favorites Despairios:

and Sugar Postmort-mmmms:

The full batch can be seen here:

Thanks to Danny for the link.

August 25, 2008

Today's Amputated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An ATM robber's arms have been surgically amputated after explosives detonated while he was trying to remove cash from the machine. The 26-year-old man and his accomplices had detonated explosives at an ATM in Bosmont, west of Johannesburg, on Saturday, June 16, 2007. Tsunke said the robber had approached the machine to collect the money, but some of the explosives had not detonated and they exploded on his arms. Without taking the money, the man's alleged accomplices took him to hospital where his arms were amputated. The man was under police guard at the Leratong hospital's Intensive Care Unit, but his accomplices were still at large.

culled from:
Generously submitted by: Rene


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here is an extremely sad photodocumentary of the decline of a drug-addicted man with AIDS. Powerful imagery.

Thanks to Danny for the link.


Morbid Mirth!

Here's the perfect site for all you zombies out there:

The Zombie Sex Guide

Thanks to Danny for the link.