Shamans heal the sick by journeying to the spirit world, and yet they were not above slieght-of-hand trickery to to impress their "clients". The European explorers who first encountered shamans in Siberia and other places sometimes described how they would observe the shaman palm a smalll stone before going into the tent of healing. After chanting and other magical actions, the shaman would pretend to reach into the sick persons body and pull out the illness- the stone hidden in his hand. To the European, this branded the shaman as a con artist. Only much later did they come to a more subtle understanding. The true healing occurs in trance, in the spirit world, but the sick person needs to see some tangible result. And so the shaman holds up the black stone to show the person the healing has taken place.
This was actually sent to me by a MySpace friend- I liked it so much wanted to share!. Here is a brief synopsis from IMDB. waning winter light, a doll maker works in his shop, a kerosene lamp beside him, a jumble of dolls and doll parts, whole and broken, surrounding him. There are noises, too: a cuckoo clock chirps the workday's end. The artisan completes a repair and leaves, shuttering the shop from outside. Back inside, whispering begins. What else is in store for the shop's seemingly lifeless denizens? Written and Directed by Roman Polanski
I recently watched this for review purposes and thought I'd share with ya'll.
Beneath The Flesh is a collection of short films by Randall Kaplan, all of which are black and white and none of which make any sort of lucid sense whatsoever. However, those of you who can appreciate the dark, disturbing aesthetics of David Lynch and William Burroughs (with a dash of Jacob's Ladder thrown in) may wish to seek out this eerie collection consisting of five short films: "The Basement" (shortest and least interesting segment) "The Child" (genuinely freaky claymation effort) "Id" (a "silent" feature about a man struggling to keep his violent inner demon from emerging) "The Insides" (which I couldn't watch because the damn disc jammed) and "Boxhead," for which I have provided a trailer...
Born in 1748, Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher, jurist and social reformer. An early exponent of utilitarianism and the benefits of public education, Bentham's ideas and writings were seminal in the establishment in 1826 of London University, today University College London, the first English university to admit students without regard to race, sex or religion. Upon Bentham's death in June 1832, his body was preserved as requested in his will. Bentham wished to be embalmed, dressed, and placed in his chair "in the attitude in which I am sitting when engaged in thought." The body was preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet, termed his "Auto-icon". Originally kept by his disciple Dr. Southwood Smith, it was acquired by University College London in 1850.The body remains on display in a glass case at the University College London. Because Bentham's head was damaged during preservation, it is stored separately, and the body was fitted with a wax replica. For the college's 100th and 150th anniversaries, Bentham's remains were brought to sit at the meeting of the College Council. He was listed as "present but not voting."
The Triumph of Death is an oil on panel, approximately 117 by 162 centimeters (46 x 63.8 in), painted c. 1562 by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It currently hangs in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. The painting is a panoramic landscape of death: the sky in the distance is blackened by smoke from burning cities and the sea is littered with shipwrecks. Armies of skeletons advance on the hapless living, who either flee in terror or try vainly to fight back. Skeletons kill people in a variety of ways - slitting throats, hanging, drowning, and even hunting with skeletal dogs. In the foreground, skeletons haul a wagon full of skulls, and ring the bell that signifies the death knell of the world. A fool plays the lute while a skeleton behind him plays along; a starving dog nibbles at the face of a child; a cross sits lonely and impotent in the center of the painting. People flee into a tunnel decorated with crosses while a skeleton on horseback slaughters people with a scythe. The painting clearly depicts people of different social backgrounds - from peasants and soldiers to nobles and even a king and a cardinal - being taken by death indiscriminately. The painting serves a useful historical purpose in that it shows aspects of everyday European life in the mid-sixteenth century. Clothes are clearly depicted, as are pastimes such as playing cards. Uniquely, the painting shows a common method of execution for sixteenth-century criminals: being lashed to a cartwheel mounted on a vertical pole. Objects such as musical instruments and an early mechanical clock, and scenes including a funeral service provide historians with a deeper understanding of the lifestyle of the 1560s.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – September 9, 1569) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (Genre Painting). He is nicknamed 'Peasant Bruegel' to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which "Bruegel" is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel.
Dance of Death, also variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza Macabra (Italian and Spanish), Dança da Morte (Portuguese), or Totentanz (German), is a late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the dance of death unites all. La Danse Macabre consists of the personified death leading a row of dancing figures from all walks of life to the grave, typically with an emperor, king, youngster, and beautiful girl—all skeletal. They were produced to remind people of how fragile their lives and how vain the glories of earthly life were. Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest artistic examples are in a cemetery in Paris from 1424.
The earliest artistic example is from the frescoed cemetery of the Church of the Holy Innocents in Paris (1424). There are also works by Konrad Witz, in Basel (1440); Bernt Notke, in Lübeck (1463); and woodcuts designed by Hans Holbein the Younger and executed by Hans Lützelburger (1538). The deathly horrors of the 14th century—such as recurring famines; the Hundred Years' War in France; and, most of all, the Black Death—were culturally digested throughout Europe. The omnipresent possibility of sudden and painful death increased the religious desire for penitence, but it also evoked a hysterical desire for amusement while still possible; a last dance as cold comfort. The danse macabre combines both desires: similar to the popular mediaeval mystery plays, the dance-with-death allegory was originally a didactic play to remind people of the inevitability of death and to advise them strongly to be prepared all times for death. The earliest examples of such plays, which consisted of short dialogues between Death and each of its victims, can be found in the direct aftermath of the Black Death in Germany (where it was known as the Totentanz, and in Spain as la Danza de la Muerte). The French term danse macabre most likely derives from Latin Chorea Machabæorum, literally "dance of the Maccabees." 2 Maccabees, a deuterocanonical book of the Bible in which the grim martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons is described, was a well-known mediaeval subject. It is possible that the Maccabean Martyrs were commemorated in some early French plays or that people just associated the book’s vivid descriptions of the martyrdom with the interaction between Death and its prey. Both the play and the evolving paintings were ostensive penitential sermons that even illiterate people (who were the overwhelming majority) could understand.
Furthermore, church frescoes dealing with death had a long tradition and were widespread; e.g., the legend of the three men and the three dead: on a ride, three young gentlemen meet the skeletal remains of three of their ancestors who warn them, Quod fuimus, estis; quod sumus, vos eritis (What we were, you are; what we are, you will be). Numerous if often simple fresco versions of that legend from the 13th century onwards have survived (for instance, in the hospital church of Wismar). Since they showed pictorial sequences of men and skeletons covered with shrouds, those paintings can be regarded as cultural precursors of the new genre. A danse macabre painting normally shows a round dance headed by Death. From the highest ranks of the mediaeval hierarchy (usually pope and emperor) descending to its lowest (beggar, peasant, and child), each mortal’s hand is taken by a skeleton or an extremely decayed body. The famous Totentanz in Lübeck’s Marienkirche (destroyed by an Allied bomb raid in WW II) presented Death as very lively and agile, making the impression that the skeletons were actually dancing, whereas their dancing partners looked clumsy and passive. The apparent class distinction in almost all of these paintings is completely neutralized by Death as the ultimate equalizer, so that a sociocritical element is subtly inherent to the whole genre. The Totentanz of Metzin, for example, shows how a pope crowned with his tiara is being led into hell by the dancing Death.
A plague doctor's duties were often limited to visiting victims to verify whether they had been afflicted or not. Surviving records of contracts drawn up between cities and plague doctors often gave the plague doctor enormous latitude and heavy financial compensation, given the risk of death involved for the plague doctor himself. Most plague doctors were essentially volunteers, as qualified doctors had (usually) already fled, knowing they could do nothing for those affected. Considered an early form of hazmat suit, a plague doctor's clothing consisted of: A wide-brimmed black hat worn close to the head. At the time, a wide-brimmed black hat would have been identified a person as a doctor, much the same as how nowadays a hat may identify chefs, soldiers, and workers. The wide-brimmed hat may have also been used as partial shielding from infection. A primitive gas mask in the shape of a bird's beak. A common belief at the time was that the plague was spread by birds. There may have been a belief that by dressing in a bird-like mask, the wearer could draw the plague away from the patient and onto the garment the plague doctor wore. The mask also included red glass eyepieces, which were thought to make the wearer impervious to evil. The beak of the mask was often filled with strongly aromatic herbs and spices to overpower the miasmas or "bad air" which was also thought to carry the plague. At the very least, it may have served a dual purpose of dulling the smell of unburied corpses, sputum, and ruptured bouboules in plague victims. A long, black overcoat. The overcoat worn by the plague doctor was tucked in behind the beak mask at the neckline to minimize skin exposure. It extended to the feet, and was often coated head to toe in suet or wax. A coating of suet may have been used with the thought that the plague could be drawn away from the flesh of the infected victim and either trapped by the suet, or repelled by the wax. The coating of wax likely served as protection against respiratory droplet contamination, but it was not known at the time if coughing carried the plague. It was likely that the overcoat was waxed to simply prevent sputum or other bodily fluids from clinging to it. A wooden cane. The cane was used to both direct family members to move the patient, other individuals nearby, and possibly to examine the patient with directly. Leather breeches. Similar to waders worn by fishermen, leather breeches were worn beneath the cloak to protect the legs and groin from infection. Since the plague often tended to manifest itself first in the lymph nodes, particular attention was paid to protecting the armpits, neck, and groin. It is not known how often or widespread plague doctors were, or how effective they were in treatment of the disease. It's likely that while offering some protection to the wearer, they may have actually contributed more to the spreading of the disease than its treatment, in that the plague doctor unknowingly served as a vector for infected fleas to move from host to host.
Lenore's Song by Yunyu. It's Yunyu's most requested song at gigs. It is a reply letter to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." Writing dead people love letters is Yunyu's idea of romance. I love her idea of romance.
This is a stop motion video shot entirely with over 16,000 digital photos.
I realize it isn't old but the lyrics are. I find it fascinating how it is filmed also.
Frederik Ruysch was the son of Hendrik Ruysch, a secretary in the service of the state, and Anna van Berchem. Because of the early death of his father he became an apprentice in an apothecary’s shop while still a boy. A man of initiative, he began preparing drugs and opened a shop in Den Haag in 1661, not yet admitted to the apothecaries’ guild. He was forced to close the shop, but reopened it after he had been admitted to the guild as a confrater on June 17, 1661. In the same year he married Maria Post, daughter of Pieter Post, a well-known architect of Frederik Henry, prince of Orange. One of his twelve children was Rachel, who became a well-known flower-painter and helped her father make anatomical preparations in his old age. His son Hendrik eventually succeeded his father.
He studied medicine at the University of Leiden, where his teachers included Johannes van Horne (1621-1670), Franciscus Sylvius (1614-1672), and Florentius Schuyl (1619-1669). He obtained his medical doctorate on July 28, 1664. Ruysch's main interest was anatomy, for which he had had a passion since his youth, when he would ask grave diggers to open graves so that he could make anatomical investigations.
The eight wonder of the world Embalming by arterial injection as a mortuary practice is considered to have begun in England in the 18th century. The technique had actually been developed in the first half of the 17th century by the noted English physiologist William Harvey in experiments leading to his discovery of the circulation of blood, during which he injected coloured solutions into the arteries of cadavers. Such techniques were further perfected by Jan Swammerdam and Regnier de Graaf. Ruysch, however, who first studied the art of making preparations in the anatomical laboratory of Johannes van Horne, remains the unsurpassed master of anatomical preparations.
In the summer of 1696 he announced the dissection of bodies “which appear still to be alive but which have been dead for about two years.” Ruysch displayed these preparations – against an entrance fee - in several small rented houses in Amsterdam, and this “cabinet” became a major attraction for foreign visitors, and was sometimes referred to as "The Eight Wonder of the World". One entry on page 30 in the visitor's protocol is Peter, Tsar of Russia. In 1717 Peter the Great bought the collection for 30.000 guilders. Several of the items are still held by the Museum of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The seventy-nine year old Ruysch immediately began to set up a new collection.
Ruysch himself never disclosed the composition of the fluids he used, but in 1743 Johann Christoph Rieger revealed that he used a mixture of talc, white wax, and cinnabar for injecting vessels, whereas his embalming fluid – liquor balsamicus – consisted of alcohol – prepared from wine or corn – to which some black pepper was added.
In 1712 Ruysch retired in favour of his son Hendrik.
A spicy tea drink with cloves, rum and cognac. The brewed clove flavor and dark rum make this a bit of an exotic-tasting cocktail that is a big change from your same old drinks.Serve and Enjoy.
1 oz cognac
1 oz dark rum
1 cup brewed tea
1/2 tsp honey
Pinch of nutmeg
Heat tea and other ingredients together in a saucepan. Serve hot with a cinnamon stick.Serve and Enjoy.
There's Irish coffee, so why not Irish tea? And yes, it's just as simple with just some freshly brewed hot tea and a shot of good Irish whiskey.
1 tbs loose tea, or 1 tea bag
1 oz whiskey
1 oz milk or cream
1 tsp sugar
Brew tea in hot water for 3-5 minutes, then strain out tea. Add whiskey and other ingredients, then serve and Enjoy.
A simple cocktail with Schnapps, rum and a bit of orange juice. Though most of the flavor comes from the Schnapps and rum, you can really taste the addition of the black tea.Serve and Enjoy
3 oz Schnapps
3 oz rum
6 oz water
Juice from one orange
1 tea bag (black)
Heat ingredients together in a saucepan until boiling. Let simmer for 5 minutes, and serve. Sugar to taste. Serve and Enjoy
A holiday favorite, mulled tea with red wine. A bit of spicy cloves and cinnamon make this a very sophisticated hot tea cocktail. An alternative to mulled cider.
250 ml strong tea
75 ml sugar
500 ml red wine
5 ml ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Rind of 1 lemon
Boil the tea, lemon rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves together until the sugar dissolves. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Strain out cinnamon stick and the rind. You may need to add more sugar, to taste. Serve with a slice of lemon. Serve and Enjoy
Many are the vocal recitals and opera galas that have ended with the Cat Duet as an encore. Though scored for two sopranos and piano, the work exists in orchestral versions and has been sung by male-female pairs and even as a tomcat duet. The text consists in its entirety of the single word "meow," and singers treat the melodies basically however they want to. The origins of this work are cloudy, but historians agree that it is not an authentic work by Rossini. It does, however, contain a good deal of Rossini's music, so the attribution is not completely off the mark. The Cat Duet contains elements of 1) the aria "Ah, come mai non senti," from the second act of Rossini's opera Otello (1816), 2) a nearby duet between the characters Otello and Iago, and 3) an earlier work in the same vein, the "Cat Cavatina" of Danish opera and song composer C.E.F. Weyse. The compiler was probably Robert Lucas Pearsall, a British composer better known for his output of hymns. In 1973, the Schott publishing house issued a facsimile of an 1825 edition of the Cat Duet, published by Ewer & Johanning and credited to Pearsall, but bearing the pseudonym G. Berthold. From Rossini's day down to ours, the piece has never lost its appeal for singers, concertgoers, and cat lovers; it often appears, of course, on compilations of classical music pertaining to felines.
During the Victorian period (1837-1901), European and North American societies believed that a middle- or upper-class woman should function as manager of both the house and family. The interior of the home subsequently became a showcase for a woman’s best handwork and decorative taste. The term "fancy work" came to describe both functional and purely aesthetic objects a Victorian woman made or embellished in her free time. From 1850 to 1875, one of the most popular forms of fancywork was the hair wreath.
Appealing to the tendency among Victorian women to incorporate the importance of friends and family into their work, hair served as a tangible remembrance of someone. Often, close companions exchanged hair as tokens of friendship. Hair was also sometimes taken after a person’s death as a means of honor and remembrance. For a woman whose local supply fell short, hair swatches could even be purchased from catalogs and stores. Hair wreaths were constructed almost entirely of human hair, which was manipulated to resemble a variety of flowers, floral sprigs, and leaves. The flowers placed together in a horseshoe-shaped wreath represent a common Victorian symbol for good luck displayed with the open ends up so as to "hold the luck inside."
A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction. The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are considered to start or separate the seasons while in others they fall in the middle. The English expressions "midwinter" (winter solstice) and "midsummer" (summer solstice) may derive from a tradition according to which there were only two seasons: winter and summer.
The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. People believed that mid-summer plants, especially Marigold had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other evil powerful beings, though this is not the case today. In Sweden, Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility.
The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the pre-Christian beginning of the day, which falls on the previous eve. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, Midsummer's Eve is considered the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. In the 7th century, Saint Eligius (died 659/60) warned the recently converted inhabitants of Flanders against these pagan solstice celebrations. According to the Vita by his companion Ouen, he would say: "No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [summer solstice rites] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants." Indeed, as Saint Eligius demonstrates, as Christianity was introduced to previously pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be often translated to new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed purely Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities.
The Creepy dolls are on exhibit ( and for sale!) at the Chaos Gallery adjacent to the Museum of Death in Los Angeles. I have several of these dolls and she keeps making more that I just must have! See the website at the Creepy Dolls link to your right.
The Carousel in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco California, was built in 1914. According to the National Carousel Association it is a Classic Wooden Carousel. A little more about it can be found HERE I couldn't wait to ride it. It is really a wonderful thing I just loved it! Do go to see and ride it if you get the opportunity.
There is just no good way to ask this question without it coming out sounding twisted, sick and wrong. So, with that in mind...
Who is your favorite serial killer?
And I do NOT mean "favorite" as in "Ohmigod I'm a serial killer groupie sicko fuckhead who would, like, TOTALLY marry the guy!" (cough - Doreen Lioy stupid bitch - cough)
I have two "faves":
#1 - The Zodiac. I was a Bay Area schoolgirl who took the bus to school in the early 1970s, some years after the Zodiac had made his famous threat against school children: School children make nice targets, I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the frunt tire + then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out. I was terrified, reluctant to go to school for fear that the Zodiac would shoot me. That was my first experience with evil and it had a profound effect upon me.
#2 - The Night Stalker. Richard Ramirez found his way north in the summer of 1985, when I was fifteen years old and living just half an hour drive away from San Francisco. It was an insufferably hot summer, unusual for NorCal. After Ramirez attacked a 16 year old Arcadia girl (who miraculously survived) mild concern turned into all out panic, and we spent the rest of that summer sweating in the miserable heat, our windows nailed shut. Usually, one hears about a serial killer after the arrest has been made, but The Night Stalker felt personal to me. We knew he was out there, in our own backyards so to speak, and we lived in honest to god terror of him until he was arrested and given a face and a name.
Exciting News! The famous Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, Mexico is sending 36 of their mummies on a U.S. Tour! Below is an article from The Detroit News, and Links to the Museum's website and the Traveling exhibit. I sure hope the Mummies come to Los Angeles!
Mexican mummies visit Detroit in October Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News
Detroit -- A rare glimpse into the mystery of death will be on display at the Detroit Science Center in October with the first U.S. exhibit of 36 mummies from a World Heritage site in Mexico, museum officials plan to announce today. The 100-year-old mummies will be on loan from the Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, Mexico.
"This is the largest and most significant collection of mummies in the Western hemisphere," said Kelly Fulford, spokeswoman for the Detroit Science Center. "It's a phenomenal opportunity to view something really rare and unique ... something you wouldn't be able to see unless you travelled to Mexico."
The Mexican museum opened in the late 1800s after mummified corpses of men, women and children were exhumed from the colonial city's cemetery because their families could no longer pay the crypt fee. Some of the corpses were discovered to have "accidentally" or naturally mummified, meaning nature, not man, stopped their decomposition.
Today 111 natural mummies have attracted visitors to the museum in the city, northwest of Mexico City, since the early 1900s.
Mummy scholars who have been conducting research in Detroit say the exhibit will offer a repository of anthropological, medical and cultural information. "When you come to this exhibit, you will get to know these people," sad Ronald Beckett, a Phoenix-based Fulbright scholar who studies mummies around the world. "The exhibit will tell the individual human stories of these long-dead people, and give them their identity back."
Museum visitors, for instance, will learn about the health of the mummies in the forensic room of the five-room display. This will be done with the help of modern medical technologies such as computer tomography, endoscopy and DNA analysis.
"The study of old pathologies puts a light on health issues today," said Vivian Henoch, medical exhibit developer. "Anything we glean from the mummies informs what we do and how we advance our understanding of many health issues."
The traveling mummy exhibit will leave Detroit in 2010 and go on to six other U.S. destinations before retuning to Mexico in 2012.
This is one of perhaps half a dozen books that actually scared the crap out of me.
This tale of the demonic possession of a young boy in 1970s upper crust New England is so horrifying because it's written in such a matter-of-fact manner. There's no projectile vomiting of pea soup or masturbating with crucifixes. Instead, it's a subtly disturbing story of mental illness and honest-to-gosh demons, who select their victims very carefully and "seduce" them into becoming vessels for absolute evil. Several events depicted in the book are based on eyewitness accounts of actual exorcisms.
(and in case anyone is curious, the other books which succeeded in scaring the metaphorical excrement from my lower intestines were: House Of Leaves, World War Z, The Great God Pan and several Lovecraft tales, particularly The Shunned House.)
The South Carolina funeral board revoked the licenses of an Allendale funeral home and funeral director accused of cutting off the legs of a man too tall for his casket.
The Board of Funeral Service voted Monday to revoke the funeral director Michael Cave’s license and the license of Cave Funeral Services of Allendale after months of investigation.
According a document released by the South Carolina Department Of Labor and Licensing, a funeral home employee used an electric saw to cut off James Hines’ lower legs so he would fit in a casket that he was too tall for.
The body of James Hines was exhumed back in March after investigators acted on a tip that Hines legs were cut off in 2004 when he was buried.
The family requested a larger casket because Hines was 6’7” and couldn’t fit in a normal casket.
A former employee of Cave Funeral Services says Hines was too tall for the casket he paid for before his death and said the funeral home didn’t want to pay for a larger casket.
Hines’ widow, Ann, says the family is somewhat relieved the funeral home has been shutdown and the director’s license revoked, but they still wonder why it happened to their loved one.
For the first time since the rumors began almost five years ago, Ann says Cave Funeral Services apologized to her and the family for all they’ve had to go through.
The Board of Funeral Services fined Cave for the violation and he must also pay $1,500 for the investigation into his business.
This is why people always say "Try before you buy!". You could end up with your legs cut off.
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