Archive for death

Halloween Countdown: The Victorian Book of the Dead

Posted in Books, death, halloween, undead with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

I just added this perfect piece of October reading to my wish list. It looks fantastic!

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Chris Woodyard, author of the The Ghosts of the Past series, digs through long-buried newspapers and journals, for this fascinating look at the 19th-century obsession with the culture of death. The Victorian Book of the Dead unearths extraordinary tales of Victorian funeral fads and fancies, ghost stories, bizarre deaths, mourning novelties, gallows humor, premature burial, post-mortem photographs, death omens, and funeral disasters. Resurrected from original sources, these accounts reveal the oddities and eccentricities of Victorian mourning. Packed with macabre anecdotes, this diverting, yet gruesome collection presents tales ranging from the paranormal and shocking to the heartbreaking.

I took the liberty of grabbing screen shots of the table of contents.
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Is this something you could see yourself reading?

The Victorian Book of the Dead

Halloween Countdown: Mysterious Planchette

Posted in antiques, death, vintage with tags , , , on October 6, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

Many a scary movie or story has featured the infamous talking board. What would Halloween be without a little seance here and there?

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Mysterious Planchette is a lovely online “museum” of planchettes (the small wooden pieces that rest under fingers and glide across the board) through the ages, from the rise of the talking board in the 19th Century, to some that are fairly recent.

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You’ll find a a nice history page with plenty of information (I’m purposely making this post as an “appetizer” for a much more extensive online collection).

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Side note: did you know “Ouija” is just a Hasbro trademark and not the name of the item itself? Still, the term has become synonymous with any kind of board used to spell out messages from the departed.

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Did you have one of the iconic Hasbro boards growing up? Or perhaps a fancier artifact? Did you use it?

Mysterious Planchette

Desktop Goodies 9/17

Posted in 80's, absurd, anatomy, anthropomorphic, art, comics, creatures, death, ephemera, food, humor, illustration, macabre, meat, postcards, religion, retro, skulls and skeletons, vintage, you can't handle the cute with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

Be warned:
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Sometimes I write fictional surrealist resumes in my head just for fun. I’m definitely adding “Can appear as a disembodied head and hypnotize crocodiles” to my skill set.
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The daintiest amphibious juggler.
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There is something very wrong with this cat’s hind quarters (or maybe very right as far as he’s concerned).
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An unlikely friendship, indeed.
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There are not nearly enough meat puns in the sentimental postcard industry.
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So delightfully subtle…until you step in the wrong spot, that is.
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Thank you, Rachel, for these next two. I’ll quote her here: “No means NO, Jesus!”
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…but this is a sweater that many can afford. (I’m sure this man’s parrot has become clinically depressed from living with him).
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Genuinely creepy. Not sure where this comes from. Hell, presumably.
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I was going to write an individual comment for each of these, but they kind of work as a dyad.
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I spent a while trying to figure out this “twelfth finger” thing. Does anyone get it?
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Now, a giant chicken absconding with a child, anyone can understand.
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C7

Posted in anatomy, art, death, nature with tags , , , , on September 6, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

I could find no biographical information for the artist known as C7, but I did find a delightfully intricate collection of enigmatic bones and mysterious figures.

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Ah, we know I love a good artist who can intertwine nature, life and death in thought-provoking clusters of archetypes.

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Desktop Goodies 7/27

Posted in 70's, absurd, Books, death, fashion, horror, humor, illustration, retro, retrofuturism, sci-fi, skulls and skeletons, undead, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

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I think this pairs nicely with the book above.
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Gotta have standards.
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I love how engaged Death is with his book.
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Strangest strike banner ever. Unless you’ve seen a stranger one, in which case I really hope you share it with me.
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Thank you Rachel, for showing me that Saran wrap and Bubble wrap are the fashion of the (retro) future. (Seriously ladies, would you be into a guy who confidently sauntered over to you in bubble wrap thigh highs?)

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I sense a seemingly incorrigible child and a maudlin, happy ending.
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I can forgive the obvious impracticality of having a giant tube directly in the driver’s field of vision, because it’s clearly inspired by atomic structure.
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A wonder what qualifies as a “good” or “mediocre” decapitation.
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“Did anyone notice Grandma looked a little unwell today?
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This could be a poster to promote neutering (PSA: countless healthy animals are put down in shelters due to overpopulation. Have your pet spayed/neutered!)
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Insta-Goodies

Posted in art, cats, creatures, death, instagoodies, macabre, sea with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

Just an Insta-Goodies post today, as I recover from an endoscopy…

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Return of the Hatbox Ghost!

Posted in death, decay, skulls and skeletons with tags , , , on May 25, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Long Forgotten, a one stop shop for the Internet’s most interesting and thorough Haunted Mansion history, recently announced the return of the beloved Hatbox Ghost.

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His glowing head moves from it’s rightful spot into the hatbox he carries.
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It would have been amazing if they used actual props to create the face, as opposed to computer graphics…but they did stay pretty faithful to the original character (isn’t this one of the best ghosts ever?).
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I’ve previously posted about Hatbox Ghost here and here.

See more info and bonus facts on Long Forgotten.

Strange Remains Week: Fireworks, Bullets, Hourglasses andTattoos

Posted in absurd, body decoration, death, humor, video with tags , , , , on March 22, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

We’ve come to the final post of Strange Remains Week (I thought it was interesting, but my readership dropped by HALF for these posts only, so I gather others were not as entertained. Sorry!).

So let’s go out with a bang. Literally. Heavens Above Fireworks will shoot cremains into the air. This is great for anyone who is asked “What makes an ideal funeral” and replies “pyrotechnics.”

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We offer a variety of professional fired displays. These are planned to meet specific client requests and can be supported by other activities. We also offer other services including rockets for self firing incorporating funeral ashes and these can be supported by other fireworks to create your own mini display and we can provide the service for pets ashes too.

And speaking of bangs…did you know a human body can be turned into a bullet at Holy Smoke?

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The process of having cremated ash placed in live ammunition begins when you contact us. Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, we will ask you (by way of your funeral service provider) to send approximately one pound of the decedents ash to us. Upon receiving the ashes our professional and reverent staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge.

The bottom of their website features this image, for no discernible reason.

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I’ve always had a thing for hourglasses (one day I’d like to have a nice one in my library). They make a rather poignant cremation statement, don’t they? In The Light Urns can do it.

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The Rings of Time Hourglass Keepsake Urn makes a statement due to it’s beautiful workmanship and size. It is a wonderful way to reflect on the sands of time and the time that you and your loved one shared.

Hourglass urns for ashes are made differently than a regular hourglass timer. The Rings of Time Hourglass Keepsake Urn is a keepsake and holds a small portion of cremains. They cannot be an exactly timed, due to the consistency of the cremains. However, they are a memorial like no other. The hourglass is the ultimate symbol of the passage of time, and will become an family heirloom, passed down for generations.

Memorial tattoos are nothing new, but using ashes in tattoo ink has gained a bit of ground (it’s only a “microscopic amount” so it’s more of a symbolic gesture).

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One tattoo artist made a video about the process:

As Mel Blanc said…that’s all folks.
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Strange Remains Week: 3D Heads and Textiles

Posted in absurd, death, humor, nature with tags , , , on March 21, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

This was one of the creepier offerings I came across: a 3D printed model of the deceased from Cremation Solutions to serve as an urn.

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Here’s a model of Obama, to show the “perfect likeness” (which to me, registers way more as uncanny valley):

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Life size models are also available.
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According to the site:
One benefit to these personalized urns is that there will never be a doubt about what they are. With a regular urn, you are undoubtedly asked questions about what it’s for, and that leads to a conversation about the deceased. People who are unfamiliar with the urn might mistake it for a vase or some other container and try to open it. With these urns, you can avoid those questions.

You may not, however, be able to avoid the question “WHY?”

A less jarring option is is the eco friendly textile coffin from Natural Legacy.

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This is an innovative coffin and something completely new for the alternative coffin market, but the use of wool in burials is nothing new. The Burial in Wool Act of 1667 made it a legal requirement for the dead to be buried in woollen shrouds in an attempt to boost the struggling woollen industry of the time. With the current social eco agenda, rising concerns on the environmental impact of burials and this innovative product, the industry has come full circle.

Strange Remains Week: Memorial Glass

Posted in art, death, sculpture with tags , , on March 20, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

A number of websites now offer hand blown glass sculptures that incorporate cremains.

Memory Glass creates orbs that resemble fancy paperweights (not to diminish the concept), using ashes in one of a kind designs. I love how this one looks like DNA.

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Depending on the keepsake you wish to order, a number of options must be selected for each piece.

*For Memory Glass Orbs & Hearts, our handmade wooden stands with LED light clusters are available to light up the pieces from the bottom.
*Memory Glass Pendants include a Black Leather Cord at no additional cost, but you are welcome to choose a Sterling Silver, or 14k Yellow or White Gold chain to hang your pendant.
*Memory Glass Touchstones include a black 3d Suspension Box to display your touchstone proudly.

The Edge Art Gallery goes a step further and not only makes orbs, like this psychedelic swirl…

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…but functional objects!
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What do you think of memorial glass?