It’s fun to chant “Bloody Mary” into your car’s side mirror three times and watch her jog and try to keep up.
The Hand of Glory is the dried and pickled hand of a man who has been hanged, often specified as being the left (Latin: sinister) hand, or, if the man were hanged for murder, the hand that “did the deed.”
According to old European beliefs, a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, lighted, and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle; this would have rendered motionless all persons to whom it was presented. The candle could only be put out with milk. In another version, the hair of the dead man is used as a wick, and the candle would give light only to the holder. The Hand of Glory also purportedly had the power to unlock any door it came across. The method of making a Hand of Glory is described in Petit Albert, and in the Compendium Maleficarum.
Etymologist Walter Skeat reports that, while folklore has long attributed mystical powers to a dead man’s hand, the specific phrase “Hand of Glory” is in fact a folk etymology: it derives from the French main de gloire, a corruption of mandragore, which is to say mandrake. Skeat writes, “The identification of the hand of glory with the mandrake is clinched by the statement in Cockayne's Leechdoms, i. 245, that the mandrake “shineth by night altogether like a lamp” (Cockayne in turn is quoting Pseudo-Apuleius, in a translation of a Saxon manuscript of his Herbarium)
Mount Rainier is creepy.
Concealed within his fortress, the lord of Mordor sees all. His gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and flesh
you know I’ve never been lucking enough to see this phenomenon before but it is quite fantastic. I shall have to pay more attention as I walk to work now.
Elsa Lanchester in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Fun facts about The Bride:
- The Bride, the most obscure of Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only Classic Monster never to have killed anyone.
- Elsa Lanchester’s shock hairdo was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
- Elsa Lanchester was only 5’4” but for the role was placed on stilts that made her 7’ tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio and fed through a straw.
- Elsa Lanchester said that her spitting, hissing performance was inspired by the swans in Regent’s Park, London. They’re really very nasty creatures, she said. (x), via vintagegal.
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A sensational trial in Germany in 1589 saw a man accused of making a deal with the devil, shape-shifting into a wolf, and killing 128 people, among other assorted gruesome crimes.
Known as the “Werewolf of Bedburg,” Peter Stubbe (or Stumpp) was executed on October 31, 1589, along with his daughter and mistress. As an example to others tempted by the devil’s offer of magical shape shifting garments, the execution was spectacularly horrific. The story was spread throughout Europe in a pamphlet describing the trial, torture, and death with relish. Then, as now, a story with a title like A True Discourse. Declaring the Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter, a Most Wicked Sorcerer sold like hotcakes, and the werewolf myth gained more ground in the popular mind.
After lurid accounts of his supposed crimes including assorted murders, acts of cannibalism, and the ripping of children from the wombs of their mothers, after which he “eate their hartes panting hotte and rawe,” his final execution was described thus:
…his body laide on a wheele, and with red hotte burning pincers in ten seue∣ral places to haue the flesh puld off from the bones, after that, his legges and Armes to be broken with a woodden Are or Hatchet, afterward to haue his head strook from his body, then to haue his carkasse burnde to Ashes.
Today there is debate over whether Stubbe was a spectacularly bad man — a serial killer of the day — or if perhaps the spate of deaths might in fact be blamed on actual, non-demonic, non-shifting wolves, or whether he simply found himself, like so many others, on the wrong side of an inquisitor’s political or religious agenda.
…So much more on the long, storied history of Wolves, Men, and Delicious Little Girls…