The Morthouse

An 1830s morthouse

This circular stone building, called a morthouse, houses a revolving wheel upon which a coffin would be placed & kept under lock and key. When another body was deposited, the wheel would be turned slightly to accommodate the new coffin. Eventually, when a coffin had been rotated one full revolution, it could safely be buried because the corpse would be sufficiently decomposed as to be of no use to the body-snatchers. (c 1830s) Udny, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Rat King

Rat kings are groups of dead rats found with their tails mysteriously and elaborately knotted, stuck together with blood, dirt or excrement.

The largest known rat king on display in the scientific museum Mauritianum Altenburg, Germany

The photo above is of a mummified rat king comprised of 32 rats, the largest known, on display in the scientific museum Mauritianum Altenburg, Germany. It was found in 1828 in a miller’s fireplace in Buchheim.

The earliest report of rat kings comes from 1564. Historically, there are various superstitions surrounding rat kings, and they were often seen as a bad omen, particularly associated with plagues. For whatever reason, most instances of rat kings reported come from Germany.

There have been reports of rat kings in other species, as well, such as mice and squirrels.

A rat king discovered in 1963 by farmer P. van Nijnatten at Rucphen, Netherlands as published by cryptozoologist M. Schneider consists of seven rats. X-ray images show formations of callus at the fractures of their tails which show that the animals survived for an extended period of time with the tails tangled.

The Grave with a Window: The Burial Place of Timothy Clark Smith in New Haven, Vermont

A grave with a window in New Haven, Vermont is the final resting place of Dr. Timothy Clark Smith, who was afraid of being buried alive.

The grave of Dr. Timothy Clark Smith in VermontIn life, Dr. Timothy Clark Smith of Vermont had been so concerned about being accidentally buried alive, that he arranged plans for a special crypt to be constructed upon his death. He was deeply afraid of contracting sleeping sickness, which would give the illusion of death until the lucky individual woke up alive, trapped in a cold, dark grave.

Upon his death on Halloween of 1893, the good doctor was interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont in his specially prepared grave. It consisted of an odd, grassy mound upon which a slab of granite was placed. This stone was fixed with a small 14 inch square window looking down into the earth, with a six-foot cement shaft leading down to Timothy’s face. According to old cemetery records, there is a second room in the burial vault which houses Timothy’s wife. A set of stairs lead into the crypt, capped by the stone in the lower front of the mound.

Though the glass in the window is now scratched, stained and hazy with condensation, people years ago claimed to have seen Timothy’s skeletal face looming in the darkness, as well as a hammer and chisel nearby to aid in his escape. Another legend claims a bell was placed in Timothy’s hand to allow him to signal in case he woke up.

A stone with a window looking into the burial vault in New Haven, Vermont

The window looking down into Dr. Timothy Clark Smith's grave

Photos courtesy of Bill Alexander of www.vermonter.com. Read his article here: The Premature Burial in Vermont

Bubonic Plague 2012

paul-gaylord-plague-oregon

Oregon man Paul Gaylord contracted a rare case of the bubonic plague, as known as the “Black Death” in 2012 when he was bit by a stray cat he had named Charlie. Paul was trying to help the cat, who appeared to be choking on a mouse.

Two days later, he awoke with a fever and the chills.

An average of seven cases of the bubonic plague still occur in the US every year.

Futuro House UFO homes

Futuro House: The UFO Home of the 1960s

Production of the flying saucer-shaped Futuro homes lasted only a few years, but these UFO homes still be found in some unexpected places.