not in our stars, but in ourselves
I arrived home tonight to find an empty house. Now, don’t worry: I’m in a very safe neighborhood, and I’m not fearing for my life or anything like that. But there is something uncanny – at least, if you’re a lone female – about coming to a place where you expect to meet other people you know, and finding it abandoned. Not abandoned, per se, but without people. And rather than try to cheer myself out of feeling all creeped out, I thought I’d indulge in some Wikipedia-inspired freak-outs. The other day, in my internet travels, I found this post: a compendium of some of the stranger, more bone-chilling Wikipedia articles out there. I’ve been tormenting myself by reading through them all, and here are some…well, not favorites, as such, but especially interesting ones.
The Dyatlov Pass incident was a mysterious event which resulted in the deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. The incident happened on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl (Холат-Сяхыл) (a Mansi name, meaning Mountain of the Dead). The mountain pass where the incident occurred has since been named Dyatlov Pass (Перевал Дятлова) after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov (Игорь Дятлов).
The lack of eyewitnesses has inspired much speculation. Soviet investigators simply determined that “a compelling natural force” had caused the deaths. Access to the area was barred for skiers and other adventurers for three years after the incident. The chronology of the incident remains unclear because of the lack of survivors.
Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of−30 °C (−22 °F). Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue.
Fish pleaded insanity, and claimed to have heard voices from God telling him to kill children. Several psychiatrists testified about Fish’s sexual fetishes, which included sadism, masochism, cunnilingus, anilingus, fellatio, flagellation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, piquerism, cannibalism, coprophagia, urophilia, pedophilia and infibulation. Dempsey in his summation noted that Fish was a “psychiatric phenomenon” and that nowhere in legal or medical records was there another individual who possessed so many sexual abnormalities.
The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, some time in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and the only food they would eat was beans. Eventually they learned to eat other food and lost their green pallor, but the boy was sickly and died soon after the children were baptised.
The murder of Rasputin has become something of a legend, some of it perhaps invented, embellished or simply misremembered by the very men who killed him, which is why it has become so difficult to discern the actual course of events.
Scaphism (NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. DO NOT SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.)
Scaphism, also known as the boats, was an ancient Persian method of execution designed to inflict torturous death. The name comes from the Greek word σκάφη, skaphe, meaning “anything scooped (or hollowed) out”.
Apologies for a non-movie post – but hey, this is probably how plenty of horror movie writers start out. Maybe I have a future ahead of me.