The men of the Cabinet took off today… one of the muggiest days this year… to crawl in a bog and dig for bottles. Mud and skeeters!

Some bottles from the 1890’s so far. 🙂

Herbine Bitters, 1890’s New Brunswick with some original contents.

Cummer Soda from Hamilton, crown top, 1890’s

Daddy’s Favourite Sauce, shear top bottle

photo1 photo2 photo3 photo5

Merycoidodon culbertsoni

Class Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Oreodonta, Family Merycoidodontidae, Subfamily Oreodontinae

Geologic Time: Oligocene – (35 million years ago)


Merycoidodon was an oreodont, meaning “mountain tooth”, and were hoofed herbivorous (plant-eating) mammals. Merycoidodon was a quadrupedal ruminant closely related to camels, pigs, and sheep. The skull was elongated and the upper canines were chisel shaped; the cheek teeth were used for grinding. It could reach a length of 4.5 ft long.

oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-6 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-5 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-4 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-3 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-2 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities-1 oreodont-cabinet-of-curiosities 1922084_10154008871755313_2368430342368890627_n

The Ifugao Tribe on the island Luzon in the Philippines, use Bulul statues as guardians to protect the rice harvest after a ritual animal sacrifice.
One stand 18″ and the other 14 1/2″.

rice-god-3-cabinet-of-curiosities rice-god-2-cabinet-of-curiosities

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I feel it’s important that you know more about North America’s surplus of scary, haunted dolls. We’ve already introduced you to The Conjuring’s infamous Annabele at the Warren Occult Museum, but have you heard of Mandy?

Mandy the Doll has been terrorizing the Quesnel & District Museum where she’s been on display since 1991. The antique doll was already 91 years old when she was given to the museum from an unnamed donor, a donor who couldn’t handle having Mandy in her house anymore. Why? Because Mandy had begun to do some very, very strange things.

The owner began waking in the middle of the night to the sound of a baby crying, only there was no baby in the otherwise quiet house. The bizarre sound would echo up through the halls from the basement, and oftentimes was so loud it couldn’t be ignored. Once the owner worked up the courage to investigate, she would only ever find an open window. The strange sounds were enough to scare her for good, and Mandy was given to the museum. According to the previous owner, once the doll was no longer in her house the mysterious crying stopped altogether.

Once Mandy was put on display strange things began happening to the staff and volunteers at Quesnel Museum. Lunches would begin disappearing out of the fridge, only to be found later tucked into drawers. Pens, pictures, books, and display items began disappearing without a trace, many of which have yet to be found.

“Mandy… sat facing the public entranceway, [where] visitors would stare, and talk about this doll with the cracked and broken face, and sinister smile. With time, Mandy was moved to another part of the museum and carefully placed in a case by herself because rumor had it that she should not be placed with the other dolls because she would harm them.” – Quesnel Museum

In 1999 the Museum and Mandy were both featured in the book “Supernatural Stories Around British Columbia”, and it took no time before people began visiting the museum to see the strange little doll, and new guests began having their own bizarre experiences with Mandy.


Often times various batteries are drained completely in the presence of the doll. One guest even claims that Mandy caused the light on her camera to go on and off every five seconds, and then once she left the room it began working again. A number of times guests have reported that Mandy’s eyes follow them around the room, and some even say she blinked at you when you’re not looking. Mandy’s even been known to move around on her own to different display cases.

Mandy the Doll draws loads of curious visitors to the museum every year, for obvious reasons. And if you want to see her for yourself she’s currently on display (along with thirty-thousand other items) at Quesnel & District Museum and Archives… just hope that she doesn’t follow you home.


Congolese fetish of Nkisi Nkondi, a female power figure, with nails

Possessed by a Lying Demon.annabel

In 1970, a woman shopping in a thrift store bought a Raggedy-Ann style doll for her daughter, who was in college. Her daughter liked it and put it in her apartment, but soon she and her roommate both noticed odd things happening involving the doll. It would move by itself, often being found in another room even though no one had touched it. They found small scraps of parchment paper, which they didn’t even own, with childish handwriting scrawled on them. They even found the doll standing impossibly on its rag doll legs one day.

The frightened girls contacted a psychic medium, who told them that the doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl who had died in the apartment building. “Annabelle” said that she liked the college girls, and wanted to stay with them, so they told her that she could. Unfortunately, granting the spirit this permission lead to increased paranormal activity in their apartment, including having a male friend get attacked by the doll one night, leaving vicious scratch marks all over his chest and torso.

At their wit’s end, the girls contacted renowned psychic investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The married duo soon found that the doll is not possessed by the spirit of a child at all; rather, it is possessed by a demon who had lied about its identity in order to get close to the girls, perhaps intending to possess one or both of them. The girls gave “Annabelle” to the Warrens, who encased it in a glass display cabinet in their Occult Museum in Connecticut. The sign on the glass reads, “Warning: Positively Do Not Open.”




Shortly before noon on August 4, 1892, the body of Andrew Borden, a prosperous businessman, was found in the parlor of his Fall River, Massachusetts, home. As neighbors, police and doctors arrived at the scene, the body of Abby Borden, his wife, was discovered in an upstairs bedroom. A week later, Andrew’s younger daughter, Lizzie, was arrested for the double murder. In an era when women were considered the “weaker” sex and female murderers were nearly unheard of, the trial—and subsequent acquittal—of Lizzie Borden made her a media sensation. Officially, the case remains unsolved, but Lizzie Borden may very well have taken an ax and ended her parents’ lives on that sweltering summer day. Now, more than 120 years later, explore nine fascinating facts about the long-dead suspect.

1. Many people might have wanted to see Andrew Borden dead. lizzie-borden-photo
The gruesome murders shocked the community, but many in Fall River were perhaps not entirely surprised that Andrew Borden had met an untimely end. With a net worth of almost $10 million in today’s money, Borden was one of the wealthiest—and most unpopular—men in town. Frugal to a fault, he was a self-made man who had become the head of one of the town’s largest banks and a substantial property owner. The dour businessman had also made many enemies on his rise to the top, and rumors swirled that Andrew and Abby had perhaps been killed as revenge for Andrew’s shady business dealings.

2. The case revealed some skeletons in the Borden family closet.
The initial investigation focused outside of the immediate family and included local businessmen, neighbors and even the family maid, an Irish immigrant named Bridget Sullivan. Police soon realized that Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, had as much to gain as anyone by the death of her father. Andrew’s tightfistedness extended to his own family—despite his wealth, the Borden home lacked even the most basic of conveniences, including indoor plumbing. Andrew’s remarriage to Abby Gray after the death of his first wife had soured his relationship with Lizzie and her older sister, Emma. The women, already in their 30s and considered spinsters by society, grew increasingly frustrated and resentful, with Lizzie in particular often exhibiting signs of mental instability. Lizzie’s actions in the days after the murders also raised eyebrows: She gave contradictory answers to questions and burned a dress that she claimed had been stained while doing housework, which police considered the destruction of evidence. On August 11, Lizzie was arrested for the murders.

3. The lack of forensic evidence played a key role in the case.
Despite their belief in Lizzie’s guilt, investigators faced an uphill battle in convicting her. There was no physical evidence linking her to the murders. A hatchet had been discovered in the basement of the Borden home, but its blade was clean and the handle had been broken off—by Lizzie, according to police. The police’s reluctance to use any sort of forensic testing also hampered the investigation. Fingerprint testing was then in its infancy and was never conducted as part of their inquiry. They did, however, establish that Lizzie had unsuccessfully attempted to purchase prussic acid, a highly poisonous liquid, in the days before the murders. Though investigators regarded this as evidence of an earlier failed attempt to kill her parents, they were unable to present it at trial.

4. Andrew and Abby Borden made an appearance at the trial—sort of. andydead
The gruesome nature of the crimes, combined with the wealth of the Borden family, proved irresistible to newspaper publishers. Miles of ink were spilled as papers around the world printed hundreds of stories describing the deaths in lurid detail, speculating on possible motives and even alternative perpetrators. By the time the trial began in June 1893, Lizzie Borden had become a media sensation, and the proceedings themselves took on a circus-like air. The prosecution, faced with a lack of forensic evidence tying Lizzie to the murders, surmised that she had perhaps committed the crime while naked to avoid leaving behind physical clues. The presence of the hatchet-riddled skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden shocked those in the courtroom, leading to a dramatic—and perhaps well-timed—swoon by Lizzie. In what turned out to be a key moment, Lizzie’s defense team successfully pushed to have her contradictory testimony at the original inquest ruled inadmissible. Lizzie herself never took the stand, and the jury of 12 men deliberated for just 90 minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty.

5. The famous rope jumping rhyme got it wrong. abbydead
Children who learn the chant may believe that it took 40 blows to kill Abby Borden, and another 41 to kill Andrew. Well, that’s not quite true. The coroner did confirm that Abby was killed first, but by 19 blows—not the 40 popularized in the rhyme. Andrew Borden received even fewer wounds, but the 10 or 11 blows that finished him off were quite gruesome, focused mainly on the head and completely destroying much of his face. So it turns out the nursery rhyme overstates by half the total “whacks” it took to complete the job. In another inaccuracy, no “ax” was ever found. It seems more likely that the hatchet presented by the prosecution at trial was the true murder weapon, but “hatchet” and “whacks” simply don’t rhyme.

6. Lizzie Borden struggled in her later life.
Despite her newfound notoriety—and her neighbors’ whispers about her likely guilt—Lizzie remained in Fall River for the rest of her life. She and Emma inherited their father’s estate, gaining the financial freedom they had long craved. Lizzie bought a large house in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods and spent her time traveling to Boston and New York to indulge in her love of theater. Just five years after the murder, Lizzie was briefly in the headlines again, when she was accused of—but not tried for—shoplifting. In 1905 the sisters became estranged over Lizzie’s relationship with actress Nance O’Neill, which Emma allegedly disapproved of. They rarely spoke in their later years but died within days of each other in June 1927. Both sisters were buried besides their murdered parents in the family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery.

7. Lizzie Borden made an appearance on “The Simpsons.”
A media sensation in its own day, the Borden murders continue to fascinate the public more than a century after they occurred. Lizzie and her family have been the focus of dozens of books, plays and films. In 1975 actress Elizabeth Montgomery, star of television’s “Bewitched” and also a distant relative of Lizzie, portrayed her in a television movie. Famed choreographer Agnes de Mille created a ballet about the trial, a new opera has been in the works and Lizzie even made a cameo on “The Simpsons,” in which she—along with other notorious figures such as Benedict Arnold, Richard Nixon and John Wilkes Booth—served in the jury during a trial over Homer Simpson’s soul.

8. New information may still come to light.
In March 2012, the Borden case was back in the headlines when researchers at the Fall River Historical Society announced the discovery of the handwritten journals of Andrew Jennings, Lizzie’s defense attorney. The journals, which contain newspaper clippings as well as interview notes Jennings made during his pre-trial preparation, may yield new insight into the crimes. The extremely fragile material is currently being preserved by the museum before its contents are made available to the public.

9. You can stay at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. BordenResidence
More than a century after the murders, Fall River, Massachusetts, continues to be a hot spot for those fascinated by the case. For the most daring aficionados, a night at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast provides the ultimate Borden experience. Guests can tour the property at 92 Second Street, watch an annual dramatization of the events, stay overnight in the bedrooms originally occupied by Lizzie, Emma and their parents, and even enjoy the same breakfast the family shared on the morning of August 4, 1892.


In China, it’s never too late to find love, even after death. While few and far between, ghost weddings are an old tradition for those who died single. It’s believed that they’re a way to appease the spirits; in other words, they think the ghosts will be too busy honeymooning to haunt anyone.

The way it works is the families of two recently deceased singles agree to bury the dead together, partnering them in holy, postmortem matrimony. In a recent case, however, brides were being stolen from their graves and their families had no idea. A ring of grave robbers was arrested for selling corpses to families as “ghosts wives” for their deceased sons, regardless of whether or not the ladies were even single at the time of their deaths.

The women’s bodies were dug up, cleaned, and sold with falsified medical records for the price of $38,000. The ring got away with selling 10 of these corpses illegally before being caught and sentenced to 28 to 32 months in prison.