I was reading in the paper today about the climber from Maine who went missing in Canada twenty-one years ago.William Holland had been hiking on Snow Dome Mountain in the Canadian Rockies when he slipped and fell. His body was found this month by a pair of hikers. The body had been preserved in glacial ice and had a mummy like appearance when found.
This got me to thinking about Mummies and this amazing town in Mexico called Guanajuato. This city is famous for many things, among them a cemetery where every one in one hundred bodies become naturally mummified! This was proven thanks to a late 1800′s law that required grave taxes be paid. Poor families that could not make the payments had to suffer their loved ones to be unearthed. It was discovered that many of them were mummified, and they are on display today in a museum there. Mummy souvenirs including little candied mummies are available for purchase. (MMMM! Sugar mummies!!!) Ray Bradbury wrote a book called Mummies of Guanajuato, and included the town and other villages in Mexico in several of his fictional short stories.
Marrying a rock. Or your pillow, like that guy in South Korea. Tomorrow I am attending a wedding and I can’t help but have bridal bizarre on my mind. And wedding day tragedies. I mean, sorry to be a bummer on the eve of your beachy wedding, but did you hear the story of the man and woman at Proposal Rock in Oregon? As they were heading out to the rock, the ring in his pocket, the almost-bride-to-be was swept off of her feet, literally, by a rouge wave. She was never found. In the unusual pairings category, Hannah Perkins who was the famous “fat lady” of P.T. Barnum’s circus, and who weighed about 700 lbs. was married to John Battersby, also in the circus performing as a “living skeleton” and weighing in at only 45 lbs. And Ringling Brothers circus skinny man Peter Robinson, just 58 lbs, married Bunny Smith, 467 lbs.
Still, there will be cake…
I was putting away some of the books I used to research my most recent book Beyond Bizarre when I came upon this article neatly folded among the pages of Troy Taylor’s Haunted Graveyards. I had included this story in The Book of the Bizarre, but it is certainly worthy of repeating.
From an AP Press story from 2007, comes this 1600′s tale of premature burial . Francis de Civille was buried alive not once, not twice, but THREE times! First he was buried when still in utero when his mother died while pregnant. His father had the mother’s body exhumed and Francis was delivered via cesarean. The second time Civille was wounded in battle in the siege of Rouen in 1563. He was tossed into a common grave where he remained for seven hours until a loyal servant dug him up to move him to a more fitting grave. He was still breathing and was slowly being nursed back to health when his house was raided by the enemy. His body was thrown upon a dung heap becoming partially buried for three days!! He somehow survived and was again nursed back to health after the enemy siege had passed. When he finally did die, at a ripe old age of 105, his family waited more than three days to bury him, just to be sure.
Today on my way to work I passed a fruit stand teeming with beautiful bananas, and it got me to thinking about this silly story from my latest book, Beyond Bizarre.
When, in 1967, the small newspaper the Berkeley Barb published a satirical story claiming that smoking banana peels can get you high, nobody thought the claim would be taken seriously. But the story spread across the country, and soon the nation’s wayward teenager were “consuming” way more bananas, to the delight of clueless mother’s everywhere.
And while we are on the subject of bananas…did you know that Washington State is host to The Washington Banana Museum? It is an online museum dedicated to the beloved yellow fruit. The creator and curator of the webseum operates Banana Antiques in Auburn, Washington which houses an impressive collection of banana memorabilia. http://bananamuseum.com/
Howdy Fellow Lovers of the Freaky and the Strange~ It has been a while since I have posted but the time is nearly upon us for this last year of work to pay off! My next book Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales will be available September 1st, and you can pre order it today anywhere books are sold. I will try and keep up here with updates about entries, startling strange facts, and radio interviews to come. My favorite season nears as I can’t help but wonder what I will dress as for this year’s Halloween…Stay weird! ~ Varla