The Year in Weird 2014
2014 was a great year for weird. It was filled with blinking mummies, archeological oddities, bizarre cases of seemingly casual cannibalism and other general madness running rampant in the news.
Here is a roundup of the most visited Cult of Weird posts of the year:
This year saw the discovery of new evidence to answer questions about some of history’s most compelling mysteries.
- Piece of Amelia Earhart’s Plane Identified
- Shipwreck from the Doomed Franklin Expedition Found
- Ancient Remains May Solve Mystery of First Americans
- DNA Solves Mystery of 6 Bodies Found in Foss Lake
- Grave of the Torryburn Witch Found in Scotland
The premier of the newest season of American Horror Story, centered around a 1950s circus sideshow, sparked a renewed interest in the real-life freaks woven fictitiously into the show’s storyline. Here are some of the most famous circus sideshow performers.
Giant Skeletons in America
The History Channel launched a new series called Search for the Lost Giants. It follows brothers Jim and Bill Vieira on a journey across the US to examine sites of supposed giant human skeleton discoveries. Jim received much ridicule for his presentation on the subject for TEDx in 2012. In the six episodes of the first season, there were some interesting leads, but ultimately nothing substantial. I’m hoping to see it return for a second season.
- History Goes in Search of the Lost Giants
- Review: Search for the Lost Giants
- Giant Skeletons of Mound Builders in Wisconsin
- Giant Skeleton Unearthed by Wisconsin Farmers in 1912
Slender Man Stabbing
In May of 2014, two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls lured their friend into the woods, where they stabbed her 19 times and left her for dead to earn favor with a fictional character named Slender Man. Both girls, who have been residing in the juvenile facility right here in my hometown of West Bend, WI, were deemed competent to stand trial in December. I wrote about this in my personal blog here: Slender Man Strikes in Wisconsin
We celebrated the 150th birthday of legendary taxidermist Carl Akeley, the man who pioneered the habitat diorama in Milwaukee and went on to create the Hall of African Mammals at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.
- Remembering Legendary Taxidermist Carl Akeley on His 150th Birthday
- Carl Akeley’s Muskrat Habitat Diorama
- Chrysalis Sculpture by Carl Akeley
Under the Knife
Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris of The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice launched her new web series Under the Knife, a darkly humorous approach to the horrors of pre-anesthetic surgery.
Watch: Under the Knife: History of the Plague Doctor
There was some interesting mummy news this year, including the virtual autopsy of Tutankhamen that revealed deformities and ailments in the boy king caused by inbreeding. Here are some other mummies that were popular this year:
- Rosalia Lombardo: Blinking Mummy of the Capuchin Catacombs
- Museum of Mummified Mexican Cholera Victims
- Boy Finds Mummified Corpse Hanging in Abandoned House
- Man Digs Up, Mummifies Remains of 150 Girls
- Capuchin Catacomb Mummies of Palermo, Italy
- The Roasted Mummies of Papua New Guinea
Ouija Board sales skyrocketed this year with the release of the Ouija movie. I didn’t waste money to see it in the theater, but it is surely more lame PG-13 horror drivel from Hollywood. But it was still a great time to talk about the mysterious history of the Ouija board.
To the relief of heathen aliens across the galaxy, Pope Francis announced this year that, in the event we make contact with an alien race, he would happily baptize them. And there was much rejoicing.
- UFO Cult Says No to Pope’s Alien Baptisms
- Alien Pyramid Structure on Asteroid 1999-RQ36
- Sculpture Installed to Mark Rendlesham UFO Incident
Some great books were released this year, including Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Taxidermy Art by Robert Marbury and the Cult contributor J. Nathan Couch’s Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?
- Goatman Named Best Weird Cryptid Book of 2014
- Beyond the Dark Veil Book of Post Mortem Photography
- Cult of Weird Fall Reading List
- Book Documents Abandoned Places Across America
- Most Popular Weird Books of 2014
The Coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald
Apparently the coffin which once held the remains of John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald has taken on a weird life of it’s own. Oswald’s brother, who purchased the coffin for his funeral in 1963, wants to block the 2010 sale of the decrepit pine box he thought had been destroyed after a 1981 exhumation to prove the identity of the remains buried in his brother’s grave.
Read more: Court Battle Over the Coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald
Other Popular Posts and Weird News
- 7 Inventors Who Were Killed by Their Own Inventions
- Diaphonized Specimens by Iori Tomita
- Cremation of a Human Body Video
- Serial Killer Trivia Board Game
- Condeming Smallpox to Extinction
- Massive Skull Collection Goes on Display
- SS Baychimo, Alaska’s Mysterious Ghost Ship
- Tibetan Skeleton Dance
- Deep-Fried Tarantula Recipe
- Listen to Houdini’s Final Seance
- House on the Rock: Journey Through the Weirdest House in America
Also, Cult of Weird being featured on an episode of Chris Hardwick’s @Midnight on Comedy Central was pretty damn cool: Nightmare at the Museum
What was your favorite weird news story of 2014?
Share it in the comments below.