Hey y’all! It’s Jackie from the Superficial Gallery, back for more! I’m thrilled to be here again to discuss what may be my absolute favorite section from TYOH, the Oddities! So, buckle up and let’s dive into five articles that I think you should check out.
1) One Of Us: Five Marvels of the Early Sideshow If there is any oddity that is closest to my heart, it is probably the sideshow. From the Bearded Lady of Geneva, Madame Clofullia,to the Mexican Lilliputian, Lucia Zarrate, take a look at this article for five of the most interesting marvels from the origin days of the American sideshow.
2) Destined to Disappear: The Unusual Photos of Ransom Riggs Originally just the inspiration for his bestselling young adult novel Mrs. Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, author Ransom Riggs’ unusual photography collection soon turned into a full length book of its own called Taking Pictures. Taking Pictures provides one of the most intriguing, thought-provoking array of bizarre photos I’ve ever seen. My personal favorite photo is the one that shows a young girl looking into what appears to be a reflecting pool in a cemetery…only the water shows her reflection to be of two girls instead of just one!
3) Bring Out The Coffin, Let The Mourners Come: Vintage Coin-Operated Mortuary Having done a short stint as an intern at a local mortuary myself (it’s a long story) AND being a fan of vintage automatons, this next article instantly struck my fancy. The morbid automaton in question is the “St. Dennistoun Mortuary”, a coin-operated automaton that depicts a Greek Revival mortuary that–when a coin is inserted—lights up and shows not only moving morticians busy at their grisly job, but also a small crowd of mourners out front who bob their heads as if crying with grief.
4) My Darling, My Ghost: Turn of the Century Spirit Photography Can you tell photography is one of my hobbies? There are just so many interesting things you can do if you have good knowledge of a camera, and spirit photography is one of those things. Spirit photography, which uses a variety of techniques to produce ghostly figures and hovering clouds of ectoplasm, rose to prominence in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s with the growing interest in Spiritualism. Check out this article for a short history of spirit photography and a primer on how you can create ghostly double exposures yourself!
5) It Was His Devil Twin: The Peculiar Case of Edward MordrakeWhile the real Edward Mordrake didn’t look near as handsome as Wes Bentley did portraying him on American Horror Story: Freakshow, the bizarre real life story of the man driven insane by the demon half face residing on the back of his skull is still just as morbidly fascinating. The first known record of Edward Mordrake dates back to 1900, when his story of being a noble heir to one of the finest peerages in England was marred by his despair caused by the evil whisperings of the “demon face” on the back of his head. According to legend, the real Mordrake was driven so insane by his demon twin that he never claimed the peerage he was born into, instead living in near complete seclusion and committing suicide by swallowing poison. It is worth noting that, prior to his death, he instructed one of his nurses to destroy his demon face after his death, lest it continue to whisper to him beyond the grave.
What’s your favorite Oddities post on TYoH and why? Tell us below in the comments!