THE TRADITIONS OF DECORATION DAY

It's Memorial Day, a day to remember and celebrate all of those brave people who lost their lives defending our freedom.  Prior to being declared a federal holiday back in 1971, Memorial Day was often referred to as Decoration Day and has it's own roots and even a particular set of customs, dating back more than…

DON’T GO MESSIN’ WITH A FAUX LAVEAU

Marie Laveau is perhaps the most notable occultist in American history. Known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Laveau spent her entire life in the city working as a voodoo priestess, midwife, herbalist and hairstylist. In addition to protection spells and gris gris, Marie was a devoted Catholic and intertwined her magical workings with…

DEAD PRESIDENT: ZACHARY TAYLOR AND HIS CALAMITOUS CHOW DOWN

President's Day mostly comes and goes with little to no fanfare, a paid holiday for a chosen few and maybe a great mattress sale, but this year it got me thinking, have there been any weird or extremely interesting causes of death for any of our former leaders? We all learn about assassinations of presidents…

LICK ROAD: WHERE URBAN LEGEND AND TRUE CRIME COLLIDE

I love urban legends and I find that while most are seemingly far fetched stories, a few of them are rooted in grains of truth. I think that may be the case with one local bit of lore here in the Cincinnati area. Amy and The Legend of Lick Road. Let's start with the legend:…

THE HANGING COFFINS OF SAGADA

The mysterious Hanging Coffins of Sagada located on Luzon Island in the Phillipines demonstrate the unique funerary traditions of the Igorot, an indigenous tribe from the area. The coffins, which are hung with ropes and wires, are suspended along limestone cliffs and have fascinated visitors for centuries. There are some interesting guidelines surrounding eligibility for…

BURKE AND HARE: THE ORIGINAL BODY SNATCHERS

'Burking' is defined as the crime of murdering a person, ordinarily by smothering, for the purpose of selling their corpse. The word 'burking' is derived from a man who perfected this method, one William Burke. Along with his partner William Hare, the pair wreaked havoc for a ten month period in 1828 throughout the city…