The interesting thing about these American vampires is the fact that members of their community, and in some cases even their own family members, were concerned enough about the possibility of vampires that they were willing to open a person's grave and desecrate their body in order to set their minds at ease. If you ask yourself what it would take for you to do that to one of your own family members, it gives you some small idea of how truly freaked out these people must have been by the events happening around them. Faced with the possibility that death (in the form of consumption) might come for them next, they sought to take control of the situation in the only way that they knew how, even though it was gruesome and ultimately futile.
Whew, hello, it's been a while! I want to say that it's working full time and trying to stay on top of funeral school that's keeping me busy, but the real culprit is that there's too much good TV to watch and I can't multi-task. If I could research and write while simultaneously watching Stranger… Continue reading Gordon Truesdale’s Gaseous Head: A Tale of Grave-Robbing and Gas Gangrene
I feel like I've written a lot so far about bodies in a way that's very explicit and concrete -- skeletons, decomp, mummies -- and so, in an effort to not write about dead bodies all the time, I spent a good few days thinking of something I could write about that's more cultural/historical as… Continue reading With Their Heads in Their Hands, Literally: Cephalophoric Saints and Biblical Violence
There's been a few mummies in the news lately, which naturally reminded me that mummies are freakin' awesome and cool. Climate change less so, but I'm not here to talk about that so mummies it is. As I was thinking about what, exactly, to say about mummies it occurred to me that there are a WHOLE… Continue reading Mummy Dearest: A series, probably
Deviant Burials: Archaeological Vampires So, let's get to the good stuff, by which I mean vampire skeletons. Of course, the skeletons in question are not actually vampires, but they were buried in a way that indicates that the people doing the burying were afraid that the deceased might be at risk of becoming a vampire. You… Continue reading Bricks in the Trap: Protecting the Village from Old School Vampires (Part 2)
When you say "vampire", most people in our portion of the world probably picture the modern version of this folk monster: a beautiful, suave, smooth-talking creature who offers the prospect of eternal life. There are a number of different versions of this breed of vampire, and the one that comes to mind probably depends on… Continue reading Bricks in the Trap: Protecting the Village from Old School Vampires (Part 1)