Archive for August, 2009

Exorcism is the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice. The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many countries. The […]

Numbers stations (or number stations) are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. They generally broadcast artificially generated voices reading streams of numbers, words, letters (sometimes using a spelling alphabet), tunes or Morse code. They are in a wide variety of languages and the voices are usually women’s, though sometimes men’s or children’s voices are used. […]

Suffering for beauty is a concept familiar to most women, who have dyed, plucked or shaved their hair, squeezed their feet into uncomfortable high heels or even surgically enhanced parts of their anatomy. Millions of Chinese women went even further — binding their feet to turn them into the prized “three-inch golden lotuses.” These “golden […]

The invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 made portraiture much more commonplace, as many of those who were unable to afford the commission of a painted portrait could afford to sit for a photography session. This cheaper and quicker method also provided the middle class with a means for memorializing dead loved ones. These photographs […]

Madame Delphine Lalaurie was born Marie Delphine Macarty, circa 1775 to Louis Barthelemy McCarty and Vevue McCarty, prominent members of the New Orleans community. On June 12th, 1825, Marie Delphine Macarty married her third husband (the previous two had died), to Dr. Leonard Louis Lalaurie, a prominent dentist. In 1832, Dr. Lalaurie and his wife […]

The Aghoris are members of a Hindu sect who worship Shiva (a major Hindu god and one aspect of Trimurti – the Hindu trinity), whom they see as the supreme god. Because they believe that Shiva created everything they consider nothing to be bad. For this reason they engage in a variety of sexual practices […]

If you were to time-travel to San Francisco in the 1800s, you might run into a strange man making an inspection of the city streets. He would be dressed in a military uniform, a beaver hat with a peacock feather protruding from it, and he would be carrying an umbrella as if it were a […]

[NSFW] Since time immemorial man has organized himself into relationships with others. From the basic man and woman relationship to the more infrequently seen transgender relationships, we all have a strong desire to partner-up. But in all history there is one relationship that stands out as probably the most unusual (and believe me, there have […]

Scattered throughout Northern Japan are two dozen mummified Japanese monks known as Sokushinbutsu. Followers of Shugendô, an ancient form of Buddhism, the monks died in the ultimate act of self-denial. The actual practice was first pioneered by a priest named Kuukai over 1000 years ago at the temple complex of Mount Koya, in Wakayama prefecture. […]

Castrati were young boys who were castrated (had their testicles removed) before they hit puberty, to ensure that their voices would not “break”. The result of the operation was that the boy would grow up being able to sing with the same voice as a boy soprano, but with the strength of a man. As […]