In Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, USA
Ventriloquist dummies may seem kitsch and antiquated, taking us back to the days of old vaudeville acts and carnivals, but take a closer look- they are extremely frightening. The fact that they appear to take on a life and personality of their own is obviously a well-practiced trick, but there is an eeriness about these mini-humans. They tell jokes, roll their eyes, and appear to have their own minds. Suspend your disbelief and they could be capable of evil intent.
If one dummy is scary, imagine a whole collection of them- over 700 to be exact, all sitting in chairs and staring at you with vacant eyes. The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, located in Kentucky, is the world’s only museum that focuses on Ventriloquism. Here you will find row upon row of carved wooden dummies, their features prominent and well etched in order to be visible from the back row of a theatre. Their unrelenting eyes will follow you throughout the museum, as if trying to hypnotize you into taking on the role of their master. Stay calm and try not to run screaming.
Stephan Bibrowski (1891–1932), better known as Lionel the Lion-Faced Man, was a famous sideshow performer. His whole body was covered with long hair that gave him the appearance of a lion; this was likely due to a rare condition called hypertrichosis.
Bibrowski was born in 1891 near Warsaw in Poland with one-inch hair covering his body. His mother blamed the condition on the mauling of his father by a lion, which she witnessed while pregnant with Stephan. She considered Stephan an abomination and gave him to a German impresario named Meyer when he was four. Meyer gave him his stage name and started exhibiting him around Europe.
By the time he was put on exhibit, Lionel’s hair had grown to eight inches (20 cm) on his face and hung about four inches (10 cm) everywhere else. His body was almost entirely covered with hair, the only exceptions being the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet. In 1901, Lionel traveled to the United States and started appearing with the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
By the late 1920s, Lionel abandoned his sideshow career and moved back to Germany. He was reported to have died in Berlin from a heart attack in 1932 at the age of forty-one.
Like every profession, dentistry has had its share of challenges and somewhat unappealing methods.
During the 18th and 19th centuries the reputation of dentistry was challenged by the demand for dental prosthesis and the practice of recycling teeth became popular. It hit its highest level of prominence after the Battle at Waterloo.
When artificial materials (like mineral teeth or dentures carved out of ivory or bone) proved to be ineffective for chewing and even talking, people would use teeth extracted from animals, executed criminals and unearthed bodies for dentures.
One of the most well-known events that provided teeth for functional dentures was the Battle of Waterloo which took place on June 18, 1815. Armies lead by Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington fought against each other. After the battle was done, scavengers robbed the dead soldiers of all commodities, including their teeth.
Dentist would buy those teeth to create dentures. The dentures that were made with the teeth of the soldiers that died in the Battle of Waterloo came to be known as Waterloo teeth.
Obtaining human teeth was frequently associated with a grotesque activity known as resurrectionism (or grave robbing).
The resurrectionist would sometimes even kill beggars, drifters and prostitutes to get paid for providing corpses to medical schools for dissection. And when a body would be too decomposed to be sold to the medical schools they would sell the teeth.
Although grave robbers may have been heartless, the ingenuity and effort of the dentist during that era is none short of fascinating.
From the coveted Billy Jamieson collection… an authentic human skull! Lower jaw missing. Comes with official authentication.
An original ribbon from 1898, Dundas Fire Brigade…. with the following line… Don’t Forget Us. How could anyone forget the firemen!?!
Oldest marijuana stash, 2,700 years old!
In 2008, nearly two pounds of still-green plant material were found in a 2,700-year-old grave in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. It was identified as the world’s oldest marijuana stash.
A barrage of tests proves that the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope, and other objects. They apparently were getting high, too. Lead author Ethan Russo told Discovery News that the marijuana “is quite similar” to what’s grown today.
NBC News Story
Bobby Leach wasn’t afraid to court death: in 1911, he was the second person in the world to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The daredevil went on to perform many other death-defying stunts, so his death is especially ironic.
One day while walking down a street in New Zealand, Leach slipped on a piece of orange peel. He broke his leg so badly it had to be amputated. Leach died due to complications that developed afterwards.