The Exorcist

Weekend Weird: The Grave of Hugh Hefner, Paul Revere’s Outhouse, Killer Clown, and More

This week’s roundup of weird news includes a Russian couple who ate 30 people from dating sites, and the rescheduled date of Doomsday.
Hugh Hefner will spend eternity beside Marilyn Monroe

In 1992, Hugh Hefner purchased the empty vault beside Marilyn Monroe in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In a 2012 interview, he said, “I will be laid to rest in a vault next to hers. It has a completion notion to it. I will be spending the rest of my eternity with Marilyn.”

That might sound a bit…stalker-ish, maybe, but the guy who occupied the vault above her is even creepier. Hef had made mention that he preferred to be on top of Marilyn, but he lost that opportunity a long time ago. As noted in this post about Marilyn Monroe’s grave, a man named Richard Poncher bought that vault from Joe DiMaggio during the celebrity couple’s 1955 divorce. Just before Poncher died in 1986, he told his wife Elsie, “If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you the rest of my life.”

In 2009, however, Elsie decided paying off her Beverly Hills home was more important than her husband’s pervy afterlife. She kicked him out and sold the vault to an anonymous bidder for $4.6 million.

And now this week’s other weird news and media:
Weird news

Find your next morbid must-read on the 2017 fall reading list

Russian couple used dating sites like food delivery services, ordering up as many as 30 people for dinner

Lord Byron’s human skull cup to be sold at auction

Penn Museum anthropologists give final report on the exhumation of H.H. Holmes

Ancient papyrus reveals how the pyramids of Egypt were built (sadly, it wasn’t aliens)

Peterborough Transfer Station’s huge collection of thrown-out taxidermy

Archeologists find Paul Revere’s outhouse

Arrest made in 27-year-old killer clown case

Intro to the Codex Seraphinianus, the strangest book ever published

Memento mori: How a skull on your desk will change your life

DNA reveals 3-fingered Peruvian mummies are human

Lakes of mercury and human sacrifices at Teotihuacan

Why can’t we turn our eyes away from the grotesque and macabre?

Maine woman’s childhood life with Bigfoot

The end of the world has been rescheduled for October

Since the new season of The Exorcist series begins tonight, let’s revisit the brutal true case of demonic possession that inspired it.

Support Cryptozoologist on Kickstarter right here.

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Weird Book of the Week

Paperbacks from Hell
It’s Halloween season (and I have tickets to see Stephen King in Milwaukee this Saturday) so there’s no better time to look back at the twisted horror paperbacks of the 70s and 80s. Paperbacks from Hell (included on the fall reading list) features the great artwork and crazy plots that filled bookstore shelves during horror’s most iconic decades.

More: Cult of Weird Recommended Reading

Cult of Weird Fall Reading List

Morbid Must-Reads: 2017 Fall Reading List

Curl up in the candlelight this fall with one of these macabre recommendations from the Cult of Weird book club.

The leaves are falling and the veil is thinning. This year’s roundup of fall reading recommendations is here to satisfy your morbid curiosity with new releases from Cult of Weird favorites like J.W. Ocker, Lindsey Fitzharris, and Caitlin Doughty.

The Butchering Art

The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
Before anesthesia and antiseptics, Victorian surgery was a brutal affair often more dangerous than the affliction it was meant to fix. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris of the web series Under the Knife tells the story of visionary surgeon Joseph Lister’s work to transform surgical practices during a time when doctors were still digging up cadavers for dissection.

From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Douhgty
The followup to her best-selling look at the death industry Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, mortician Caitlin Doughty travels the world to examine funeral practices from unique cultures around the globe.

Death and Douglas

Death and Douglas by JW Ocker
When “incredibly out of the ordinary” murder victims start showing up at Douglas’s family’s funeral home, he and his friends set out to solve the mystery.

The Apparitionists

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost
The story of how spirit photographer William Mumler captured America’s imagination in the wake of the death and tragedy of the Civil War by photographing grieving family members with apparitions of the dearly departed.

Tales from a Talking Board

Tales from a Talking Board
Fourteen new supernatural stories exploring divination and communication with the dead through Ouija boards, tarot, and “stranger things.”

Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde
Caleb Wilde reveals what he’s learned about life and death as a sixth-generation funeral director who’s been around the deceased and grieving his entire life.

The Witch

The Witch by Ronald Hutton
The witch came to prominence—and often a painful death—in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early-modern stake.

Atlas of Cursed Places

Atlas of Cursed Places
Oliver Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world’s most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume.

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads
A hauntingly beautiful travel guide to the world’s most visited cemeteries, told through spectacular photography and their unique histories and residents.

It Devours!

It Devours! a Welcome to Night Vale novel
A new page-turning mystery about science, faith, love and belonging, set in a friendly desert community where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are commonplace parts of everyday life. Welcome to Night Vale…

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by
A fascinating, beautifully illustrated guide to the monsters that are part of our collective psyche, featuring both rare and best-loved stories from the hit podcast Lore, soon to be an online streaming series.

The Magician and the Spirits

The Magician and the Spirits
The story of Houdini’s quest to uncover the truth behind spiritualism, mediums, and messages from the afterlife.

Understanding Cemetery Symbols

Understanding Cemetery Symbols
A guide to the meanings behind the symbols found on gravestones.

California Infernal

California Infernal: Anton LaVey & Jayne Mansfield
Fischer’s unique collection of photos takes us straight into the ritual chamber of the Church of Satan in LaVey’s infamous “black house” in San Francisco, as well as into Mansfield’s Hollywood “pink palace.” We also get to follow LaVey on excursions to his friend Forrest “Famous Monsters of Filmland” Ackerman, to Marilyn Monroe’s grave, to TV studios and back, to Satanic weddings and Zeena’s baptism at the Church of Satan HQ.


Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams.

Death: A Graveside Companion

Death: A Graveside Companion by Joanna Ebenstein
Edited by Joanna Ebenstein, Death explores the intersection of art and death through over 1,000 images, many never published before, created throughout the centuries as humanity has struggled to understand and rectify death through morbid beauty.

Paperbacks from Hell

Paperbacks from Hell
A history of the paperback horror boom of the 70s and 80s, and the twisted stories and cover art it spawned.

Want more? Here are the fall reading lists from previous years:

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Or you can find them all and more here: Cult of Weird Recommended Reading

Weekend Weird

Weekend Weird: Hearse Fest, Mothman, Holmes’ Mustache, and More

This week’s roundup of weird news and media includes the trial of a corpse pope, Hemingway’s 6-toed cats, and spiritualists in Wisconsin.
Hearse Fest in Hell, MI
Hearse Fest artwork by Robert Paul Nixon

Last year I had the opportunity to hang out with the denizens of Hell, Michigan for the annual Hearse Fest. Yes, a hearse car show…in Hell. Plus some great vendors, including my friends at Dead Sled. It really doesn’t get any better than that. Sadly, I didn’t manage to crawl my way out of poverty far enough to make it this time, but here’s my recap from last year.

The Mothman Festival is also happening this weekend

Like Dali, Holmes’ mustache survived the grave

…though it’s difficult to see in this photo

Harvey washes up fanged creature on Texas beach

Brazil is investigating alleged massacre of uncontacted tribe

Hemingway’s six-toed cats rode out Hurricane Irma in Key West

Mysticism and rudely-shaped rocks: why 17th-century palaeontology is worth revisiting

Photos from the Chicago flying humanoid flap

Biologist tests an electric eel’s shock with his own arm

The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is coming

Siberia’s ‘Doorway to The Underworld’ is getting so big it’s uncovering ancient forests

The trial of the corpse pope

Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten granted parole

Last person executed as a witch in Europe gets a museum

Is this the face of Mary Magdalene?

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The grave of a Wisconsin spiritualist
Born into spirit-life

My latest expedition into the wild weird yonder of Wisconsin turned up a group of spiritualist graves on a hill in Fond du Lac county’s historic Rienzi Cemetery. The epitaph above belongs to Abby Tallmadge, wife of politician and spiritualist Nathaniel P. Tallmadge. Appointed by President John Tyler in 1844, Tallmadge briefly served as the governor of the Wisconsin Territory until the newly elected President James Polk removed him from the position the following year.

In the 1853 book Spiritualism, Volume 1 by John Worth Edmonds and George T. Dexter (with an appendix written by Tallmadge himself) Edmonds recalls a letter he had recently received from his friend in Wisconsin.

“My youngest daughter, aged thirteen, plays on the piano by the instructions of the spirits, like an experienced performer,” Tallmadge wrote. “She knows nothing of notes or music, and never played the piano before in her life. The first tune she played was Beethoven’s Grand Waltz, and then several others with which we were familiar. After that, she played many we had never heard before, and improvised words suited to the airs, beautiful, and of the highest tone of religious and moral sentiment.”

Skeletons attack in vintage Eerie comic
Panel from a vintage Eerie comic

Red balloon in the window of Stephen King's house

Weekend Weird: Stephen King’s Red Balloon, Holmes DNA, Floating Fire Ants, and More

Fire ants floating in Houston’s floodwaters, the identity of the remains in H.H. Holmes’ grave, and more in this week’s roundup of weird news.

DNA ends 120-year-old mystery of H.H. Holmes’ death

A mysterious grave and the mangled remains found within

Watch the teaser for the new Lore series on Amazon

60,000 people to be evacuated to defuse 1.8 ton WWII bomb

Pennsylvania authorities warn of creepy clown resurgence

Restaurant opens 21 stories underground inside America’s largest dry cavern system

Man skydives nude while playing a violin for his birthday

Red balloon appears in Stephen King’s window

Watch the new trailer for Invasion on Chestnut Ridge documentary

Cryptid Con is happening next weekend

Missing women may have been run through a woodchipper, entombed in concrete

60,000 bodies to be exhumed in London for railway construction

Train car from Ringling Circus to be a home for oddities, freaks and frogs

Psychic releases interview with Princess Diana’s lonely spirit

Nests of fire ants are floating around in Houston floodwaters

Dollhouse death scenes refurbished for Smithsonian exhibit

Cannibal turns himself in, was tired of eating flesh

Devil worshipper lawsuit claims schools were harassing his family

Museum visitors put child inside 800-year-old coffin, breaking it

No more creepy animatronics at Chuck E. Cheese

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