The Macabre and the Unusual

Weird Stuff

Odd News: Revisiting a Voodoo Hex

Here at Dapper Cadaver, we tend to catch ourselves talking about some odd topics. Today’s topic was Voodoo.

Found on the blog Report From the Florida Zone an article states that back in 1998 a woman was arrested in Florida for some questionable Voodoo practices. How did this play out? First, a hand washes up on the shore of the Manatee River. Police successfully fingerprint the hand belonging to a long dead and supposedly buried individual who had died months before. Upon exhumation authorities discovered that all of the organs in the body had been replaced with Voodoo dolls and crumpled notes. Even freakier? Each doll had a name of a funeral home in the area etched on it and one with a name of a man. Written on the note was, “be gone and may you rot in your grave…Curse him as I curse him, spoil him as I spoil him, by the fire at night.” Detectives discovered the only funeral home not mentioned was that of an individual named Paula Green-Albritton, an unlicensed embalmer and Voodoo queen. The man on the other note, her ex-husband.

A little more research unveiled this documentary about the case. It is seriously worth the watch. Warning: there are real police images of bodies and body parts.

 

 

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Mummified Alchemy Hand $60

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Mystic Hand $18

 

 

The practices in question were called “Helping Hand” and according to the documentary relates to the symbolism of the hand in many religions. If you’re interested in more things odd we’ve got some curiosities at the shop suited just for that.

 

 

 

 

Green was arrested and charged with one year in prison however she never served her sentence. Why? Well, a news article from the time states the officer questioning her was taped stating she wouldn’t be charged if the rituals in question were performed for a religious purpose and therefore all video of her confession had to be dismissed.

 

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Deluxe Shrunken Head $120

Taxidermy Monkey Paw

Taxidermy Monkey Paw $20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of this? Have any other stories worth a share? Let us know in the comments below!

 


Fossils in the News: Prehistoric Fossil Jackpot & New Feathered Dino

We’ve been hearing a lot about dinosaurs and other prehistoric discoveries recently.  From newly found dinosaurs to fossil excavations, here are some news worthy stories we’re reading this week!

In China, a fossil of a four-winged dino was discovered with the longest feathers scientists have ever seen on a dinosaur fossil. This 125 million year old raptor named Changyuraptor Yangi or Great Feather in Chinese will help scientists learn about the flight patterns of larger creatures as well as the evolution of larger flying animals today. Check out some photos of the fossil!

Changyuraptor_S.-Abramowicz

Illustration of Changyuraptor yangi. (S. Abramowicz/ Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County) (Washington Post)

Changyuraptor with (right) details of plumage. (Luis Chiappe/ Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County) (Washington Post)

(Washington Post)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Washington Post it flew, had four wings, and its feathers were one-fourth the size of the dinosaur’s entire body.

How about this one: In Wyoming, a cave that was dormant to human exploration for the last 30 years is finally getting excavated. Trained international scientists will rappel eight stories down into the cave and climb back up. Once they are at the bottom, “they will load fossils into buckets to be hoisted to the surface” (Reuters). However dangerous this climb is its going to be worth it. Inside the cave may be hundreds of undiscovered fossils dating back as far as 100,000 years.

Dangerous cave in Wyoming to be reopened to allow scientists to study thousands of bones of ancient creatures. Access is the first granted since the 1970s. (Photo : Bureau of Land Management) (Tech Times)

Image from the original excavation.
(Photo : Bureau of Land Management)
(Tech Times)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interested in getting some fossils of your own? Dapper Cadaver’s got you covered.  Check out our website for the newest in dino skeletons and fossils. How about your own Avian Dinosaur Fossil or a Pterosaur Skull to add to your collection?

 


Death on Display: Morbid Anatomy Museum Opens in Brooklyn

 

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A few of the specimens they have on display. source: Newsweek

We love this! There is now an entire museum devoted to death and macabre in Brooklyn. The Morbid Anatomy Museum showcases items “exploring the intersection of death, beauty, and that which falls in between,” according to their website. The museum’s curator; Joanna Ebenstein, grew the museum from her Morbid Anatomy Library “including more than 2,000 books on medical history, death rituals, the human body and esoterica” (New York Times). It recently moved into its new home, a 3 story former nightclub on 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn.

source: Morbid Anatomy Museum

Displays in the Morbid Anatomy Library. source: Morbid Anatomy Museum

The museum is currently showcasing an exhibit on “The Art of Mourning,” displaying pieces related to 18th-20th century mourning culture including hair art jewelry and shadowboxes, morbid photography, and death masks.

 

 

source: Facebook

Morbid Anatomy Flea Market source: Facebook

 

They even hosted a macabre flea market last week with vendors selling  curiosities, bones, and taxidermy. We wish we could have gone! On the east coast? They have frequent lectures and guests so be sure to check it out.


New Burial Trends: Putting the Fun in Funeral

Have you heard of these new funeral trends? A recent article in the New York Times shows a woman casually sitting at the table, beer can and menthol cigarette in hand.  She seems to be enjoying life, except she’s dead.  Apparently the newest trend in funerals is to decorate the deceased in either their favorite living pastime or living dreams. Funeral homes around the country are taking on this new option, but it is a not so new idea.  The article mentions Willie Stokes Jr., a notable gambler, who at his wake was propped up in a casket made to look like a Cadillac, wheels and all.  He was positioned with his hands on the steering wheel and holding $1000 bills, according to an article run in 1986 by the Chicago tribune.

source: New York Times

Louis Charbonnet, at her funeral. Source: New York Times

Willie Stokes Jr.

Willie Stokes Jr.

How about this one: know a person who loves their pet so much it becomes their child?  Well according to this story heard on NPR, a new law in Virginia gave cemeteries the green light to bury their owners next to their beloved pets.  Make sure you call them now though, there’s already a waiting list and plots being reserved.  There doesn’t seem to be a limit on how many pets (or pet plots) can be reserved either, the article mentions one man who wishes to be buried next to his 11 dogs.  No word yet on whether California will adapt their pet/human burial laws but many other states such as New York and Ohio have already amended theirs.

This gets us in the mood to watch some Stephen King:

 

Heard of (or been to) any other not so traditional funerals? Let us know in the comments below!


Friday the 13th in Los Angeles: ‘Christine’, Spooky Night Hike & Lights-Out Rock Climb

Don’t miss John Carpenters demonic auto possessed horror classic, ‘Christine’, screening at Pershing Square.

As we prepare for our busy fall season, we also prepare for an extra eerie Friday the 13th , which will bring us a mysterious full moon, an event that will not repeat itself for another 35 years! And if you don’t plan on turning into a werewolf at the first sight of the full moon, we’ve found some choice events that fit this ghostly happening.

For a taste of midnight cliff climbing, strap on your headlamp, glowsticks and zombie survival kit, then take to the walls in this creepy lights-out indoor rock climb. The folks at ROCKreation Gym LA in Santa Monica are a doing a lights out vertical zombie walk in tribute to Friday the 13th. And don’t forget to put on your creepiest look fit for the occasion for their spooktacular costume contest.

For those who prefer to spend Friday the 13th relaxing in the comfort of the great outdoors and take in a spooky evening movie instead, check out John Carpenters 1983 horror masterpiece, ‘Christine’, about a classic ’58 Plymouth Fury named Christine who takes on the personality of a jealous girlfriend and will do anything to protect her nerdish owner. Screening at Pershing Square, in downtown Los Angeles.

And finally, there exists among us, a brave breed of souls who wish to venture out into the night, relishing in the thought of risking their lives and succumbing to the strange happenings on Friday the 13th. And to these courageous individuals, we suggest the Full Moon Friday the 13th Night Hike and Potluck. Spend the evening scampering around the trails of Griffith Park in this 5 mile round trip night hike featuring a communal pot luck at the top of the mountain. Don’t forget to take your Jello-filled brain molds, conveniently available at your very own Dapper Cadaver!

full moon image


Freaky Beetles Prey On Frogs

The small prey does a little shimmy and attracts the attention of the predator. The big predator lunges at the prey and attempts to take a bite, but the prey latches on to its jaws. No matter how hard the predator shakes, it can’t shake the prey which jumps up onto its back and makes it clear who is the prey and who is the predator here. As the new predator sinks its jaws into its much larger prey, the big prey is paralyzed and will remain paralyzed as the little predator devours it alive down to the bones.

No, this isn’t the Alien prequel. These are the gutsy ground beetles of the genus Epomis that take on and kill much larger amphibians even as little beetle larvae.

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog - via Wired Science & PLoS ONE

Quite a discovery by Tel Aviv University researchers Gil Wizen and Avital Gasith, who described the strategy of Epopmis beetle larvae as an “extremely rare anti-predator behavior.”

Epomis beetle larvae in action

Epomis adult beetle in action

(note: not for the weak of stomach)

To learn more, check out the full study or the story at Wired Science.


Barnum Brown & The First T. Rex

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950 - from NPR

NPR ran a great story last week called Bone to Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton Complete at Last. Carl Mehling, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, found a stray bone labeled 973, identified as belonging to the first T. Rex and gave it to the Carnegie Museum to finally complete the first T. Rex skeleton.But the best parts of the story for me were about the man who discovered the first T. Rex skeleton and sold it to the Carnegie Museum in the first place: Barnum Brown, “the Indiana Jones of dinosaur hunters”.

Barnum Brown

Barnum Brown in 1914 doing field work in Montana - from Wikipedia

Named after P.T. Barnum, Brown was a pioneering dinosaur hunter who traveled extensively, dressed nattily, lived through personal tragedy and had many a romance, including his second wife Lillian who wrote a memoir called I Married A Dinosaur. He also served as a dinosaur expert on such films as Fantasia. Remember the amazing dinosaurs in The Rite of Spring? There is a good Barnum Brown biography at Strange Science if you want to learn more. I’m going to have to pick up the book on him that came out last year, Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex. From the review at the Smithsonian blog, it sounds like a great read.


Gilded Maggots

If you’ve ever been face down in a creek and seen the twigs and grains of sand sprout legs and scuttle away from you, then you  you’re familiar with caddis fly larvae.  These little underwater worms glue dirty bits of the world around them together to form a shell. The ground moves, the perfect hiding place, they are clever but they are not pretty.

However, the mind of this worm is not only clever, it’s downright artistic. The shells that they make form little patterns and stripes. In a brain smaller then the dot of this i, the caddis fly possesses artistic intent.

And when put in more opulent environs they create jewelry


Count Bacula

loxodonta penis anatomy
The Bacula Research Project (BRP) needs your help! The group is studying the variety of bacula found in the mammal family and is trying to locate a few unusual specimens of baculum.

“WHAT’S A BACULUM?” you’re probably asking. It’s the penis bone. Now don’t get excited, you don’t have one. Humans are amongst the few animals that don’t have bacula. Along with Koala Bears and duck billed platypuses, when we get a hard on, its hard from blood pressure alone. Other beasties get an erection with no viagra necessary, they’re hard as a bone in seconds because they have a bone there already.

various bacula

various bacula

I was recently contacted by a researcher for the Bacula Research Project in need of a few specimens.

The first is the American Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus). Found in the American Southwest this skunk is distinguished from other skunks by a single, solid white stripe down it’s back and a bald, pink nose. If you don’t mind getting intimate with skunk dick, contact me.

you want my WHAT?

you want my WHAT?

The other two creatures are both moles.
Coast Mole (Scapanus orarius) Townsend’s Mole (Scapanus townsendii). Both are found in the Pacific Northwest. For these we’ll probably need the whole specimen, as the mole penis is an organ so minute they respond to every male enhancement add they see, or to quote the BRP “The bacula from these two species of moles are less than 0.5mm in diameter and would require a microscope to confirm. Unless you know what your looking for and where its located, the baculum located in the distal portion of the penile organ would be removed along with the dermal skinning of the carcass. The baculum is a heterotopical bone and therefore not part of the skeletal system.”

Contact me if you’re in the north woods and interested in trapping moles.


Octopus On Yo Head of the Week

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This photo really brings out the kind of wry wisdom of it’s subject, who wears his head octopus like a wreath of laurel.

Photo by Elisha Cook Jr in the Dapper Cadaver Octopus on Yo Head group.


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