Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dog Suicide Bridge

Overtoun Bridge, near Dumbarton in west Scotland, has become famous for the number of unexplained instances in which dogs have apparently committed suicide by leaping off of it. It has been the scene of at least fifty, unexplained, dog deaths.

The incidents were first recorded around the 1950's or 1960's when it was noticed that dogs - usually the long-nosed variety like Collies - would suddenly and unexpectedly leap off the bridge and fall fifty feet to their deaths.  In some cases, however, the dogs would survive, recuperate, and then leap off the bridge again

A rational explanation for the "dog suicides" could be the mink population that resides under the bridge in the brush.  Veterinarians and animal experts have pointed out that a dog, overly excited at the smell of the minks and unable to see over the sides of the bridge, might leap over the side on impulse not realizing that they are on a bridge at all. 

Or they were extremely depressed; the misplacement of their buried bones could have had more serious ramifications than anyone thought.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

photo taken by soviet authorities at the abandoned camp
The Dyatlov Pass Incident is the creepy and true mystery of nine experienced Russian cross-country skiers, led by Igor Dyatlov, in 1959.

All that is known is during the night all nine suddenly fled their tent, cutting it open from the inside, and raced out into the sub-zero temps without coats or boots, most in their underwear, some even barefoot or with a single sock or boot. They ran downhill toward a wooded area some 1.5 kilometers away. Most died of hypothermia; though the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. Oh, and there were traces of radiation on their clothing.

Don't get too creeped out though. You can find many excellent, and logical theories online (just google it, if you are interested) but one I just do not buy is paradoxical undressing, or shedding your clothes when suffering from hypothermia. They built a fire in the woods, and as they died, the survivors took clothing from the dead, which isn't exactly 'paradoxical undressing' behavior.

Not that I think it was aliens; it was probably just a radioactive yeti.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick post

Just a quick kinda-not-real post.

Because of unexpected house guests, I have been absent from the internet for about a week. Right now, I am catching up on everything I might have missed from the blogs I am following, and then probably have a real post up in the next day or two.

Anyway, so this isn't a completely useless post, here's a weird fact for anyone looking for a new phobia; there's way more chickens than humans on Earth. They could wipe us out, if they ever got smart.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Murder Castle

Dr. Henry H. Holmes was the first recorded American serial-killer, at least in the modern sense of the term. He confessed to have murdered 27 people in Chicago during the time of the World’s Fair of 1893, but the body count is speculated to be much higher.

He designed and built a hotel specifically to torture and kill his victims. The building featured trap doors, hidden staircases, secret passages, a crematorium, rooms without windows, chutes that led into the basement and a staircase that opened out over a steep drop to an alley. Some of his victims were meticulously dissected and the remains sold to medical universities.

Holmes feared some psycho might dissect him. After he was caught and sentenced, his final request was to be buried in concrete.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clever Fox

This happened earlier this year, but it's still a cool story to share with anyone who may not have heard it.

A man in Belarus had the tables turned on him when the fox he was hunting shot him in the leg.

The hunter had approached the wounded fox to kill it with the butt of his rifle. During a brief struggle, the fox managed to pull the trigger with his paw, then escape.

Obviously, a case of self-defense.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls, or 'La Isla de la Munecas', is a bizarre tourist attraction in Mexico. There you can literally find hundreds of freakishly decaying dolls hanging from tree branches. 

It all started when a recluse, Don Julián Santana Barrera, became obsessed after finding a doll in the water close to where a young girl had recently drowned. He spent the rest of his life collecting them, believing they kept the girl's spirit company. 

I think I can sum up the entire island nicely: 'wtf?'

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Blood Countess

McFarlane's Monsters series 3: Elizabeth Bathory
Elizabeth Báthory has appeared in numerous films, books, music and video games. If you somehow haven't heard of her, here's the rundown on history's most prolific female serial killer.

In Hungary, during the 1500s and early 1600s, she allegedly tortured and killed more than 600 women. According to testimony, she was accused of:
  • severe beatings over extended periods of time, often leading to death
  • burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia
  • biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts
  • freezing to death
  • surgery on victims, often fatal
  • starving of victims
  • sexual abuse
Her real claim to fame were the later accounts that she had bathed in the blood of slaughtered virgins to retain her beauty and youth. (Not recommended by dermatologists, btw.)

However, her guilt is debated. Some believe she was just the victim of religious persecution and a political conspiracy. But, guilty or innocent, Elizabeth Báthory has gone down in history as a sadistic murderess.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Elephant Executions

Looks fake to me
Two of the most famous elephant executions are Topsy and Mary, both circus elephants.

Topsy was considered too much of a threat after killing three men in separate incidents (including a drunk trainer trying to feed her a lit cigarette); She was electrocuted in 1903. Thomas Edison filmed the event, and it's become quite popular.

Interestingly enough, Topsy was going to be hanged, but it was deemed cruel and inhumane. That apparently didn't occur to the residents of Erwin, Tennessee in 1916.  A crowd of about 2,500 attended the public hanging of Mighty Mary, who had recently killed an inexperienced trainer. It took an industrial crane to lift the five ton elephant, pictured on the right.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Booth and Lincoln Coincidence

The Booth brothers; John Wilkes, Junius, and Edwin
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, but by strange coincidence Booth saved Lincoln's life. Or, more accurately, Edwin Booth saved Robert Todd Lincoln.

When Abraham's son was falling between a moving train and the platform, John Wilkes' brother pulled him back on to platform. This happened a few months before the assassination took place.

Another odd coincidence is Robert Todd Lincoln's proximity to presidential assassinations. After his father's, he was eyewitness to Garfield's, and present at McKinley's. He later refused presidential invitations, saying "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." And no one was ever shot around him again.