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Category Archives: Accidental death

New Hampshire Patriot and Gazette, March 16, 1853. Que ferait McGyver?

Barre Gazette, June 25, 1847. Okay, that is pretty astoundingly stupid. But it’s arguably still a scintilla or two less odious than ye Bystander Effect* of subsequent centuries. These folks at least thought they were doing the right thing vis a vis their civic responsibilities, as opposed to saying “I don’t wanna get involved.”
*I was gonna name-drop Kitty Genovese here, but I just ran across this academic paper persuasively arguing that the story about 38 people watching and doing nothing as she was murdered is more or less a crock, or as the authors would have it, a “parable.” There’s also this guy’s debunking website, which makes a lot of the same arguments.

Vermont Phoenix, April 27, 1838. Yeah, I’d say that horse was blooded but good.

american register 1 1 17American Register, January 1, 1817. Well, those mail coach drivers certainly seem to have earned their paychecks. We’ve seen this spooky horses-on-autopilot trope before.

boston journal 1 17 13 1Boston Journal, January 17, 1913. The name for this poor woman’s dangerous fixation is claustrophilia. It’s a sex thing for some people. Read More »

frogMorning Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), July 12, 1901. Item courtesy of correspondent D. Loiterstein. One would like to know more about the forensic science underlying this account. Did the third and surviving McCurry child fill in the blanks? Was Mrs. McCurry in the kitchen above making mince pies? Why feed putty to a pet frog? And how was it learned that what looked like putty to the kids was perceived as insects by the frog? Inquiring minds wanna know. . .

kc star 12 29 86Kansas City Star, December 12, 1886. Mince pie, as we’ve seen, was known to cause bad dreams, but in particularly susceptible folk it seems to have induced clairvoyant hallucinations as well. Read More »

p i 12 6 48 eyePhiladelphia Inquirer, December 6, 1848. It’s all fun and games until someone loses a cerebellum.

nat int 9 24 33 2National Intelligencer, September 24, 1833. Karmic turnaround doesn’t come any faster than that.

sfc 9 23 21San Francisco Chronicle, September 23, 1921. So like a woman: having married the slob, she sets about to change him.