jump to navigation
  • Fairy Photographs from 1930 November 18, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Fairy Photographs from 1930

    June 1930 and various snooty Britons are opening their spanking new copy of Tatler, the house magazine of Britain’s upper middle classes and down-at-heel aristocrats. But what is this on page 25: ‘a spring time fantasy’ involving some posh tots! It would not be very difficult to imagine that Titania and her friends Peace-blossom, Moth, […]

    Jamaican Immortal November 15, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Jamaican Immortal

    This is one in the immortals series. Human beings who lived remarkably long lives (be they factual or fictional). First the report from 1825. Died on 13 the December, at Kingston, Jamaica, an old negro woman, Patience, alias Nancy Lawrence, supposed to be aged about 140 years. The precise age of this extraordinary creature could […]

    Mermaid Monday: Nude Scottish Mermaids November 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mermaid Monday: Nude Scottish Mermaids

    Here is a Scottish account from 1833 (Anon) of what were apparently river mermaids. What is most interesting here is certainly the reaction of the community, though the resolution of the mystery has some entertainment value. Some time back, the inhabitants of some hamlets, situated near the Tay, a little below Dunkeld, had been kept in […]

    Braham’s Parrot November 12, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Braham's Parrot

    A busy day in paradise, so Beach thought he would limit himself to sharing this charming parrot story. Mr Braham was John Braham (obit 1856), an early nineteenth-century opera singer: ‘he sang before Napoleon’s Josephine and gave lessons to Nelson’s wife.’ Part of the charm of the story is the parrot in the presence of two […]

    Victorian Urban Legends: the Lady of the Key November 10, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legends: the Lady of the Key

    A woman with a key around her neck haunts the French saloons. What is her story? Beach is always looking for Victorian urban legends (this one is 1870) and particularly sexual ones. Ask yourself this. Would this tale have appeared in a British newspaper if it had been set in London rather than Paris? The […]

    Haunted Tree Swindle in Italy November 9, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Haunted Tree Swindle in Italy

    This story appeared in a British newspaper in September of 1861. It relates to Gubbio in Umbria: the unity of Italy has just happened. A rural parish in the region of Agubbio, which was relieved last year of the Pope’s temporal rule, but which still endures the evils of ignorance and superstition consequent on many […]

    Mermaid Monday: St Valery-sur-Somme Mermaid November 6, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mermaid Monday: St Valery-sur-Somme Mermaid

    In 1834 a British paper ran with this story (1834) in early August: A fisherman at St Valery-sur-Somme (France), a few days since, caught in his net a fish exactly resembling the description given of the Mermaid. The head and breast are of the human form, and, when half the body is out of the […]

    The Rolling Muff of Gross Isle November 4, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Rolling Muff of Gross Isle

    Several years ago Chris from Haunted Ohio Books came across, in Paranormal Great Lakes, an Illustrated Encyclopedia, Charles Cassady, Jr., Schiffer, 2009,  p 64, a marvelous sounding monster called the Rolling Muff. As Beach has a now four-year interest in what Bob Rickard has called Unidentified Rolling Objects (UROs) he thought he would share this with […]

    The History of the Playpen November 2, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    The History of the Playpen

    The playpen originated when a hunter-gatherer mother realized, many thousands of years ago, that she could keep her child in a safe corner of the cave with a simple barrier. But when did the business of playpens becomes serious, when were the first commercial models available in the shops? Beach set himself the task of trying […]

    Index Biography #47: Prize a book October 31, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Index Biography #47: Prize a book

    ***Melissa gets it, scroll down for the answer*** The Index Biography is a quiz pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The creator must find a biography of a famous individual from history, they must turn to the index and write down eight peripheral facts about the individual’s life. We offered up previously […]

    Napoleon and the Dorset Convent October 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Napoleon and the Dorset Convent

    Beach recently ran with a story that Napoleon was believed to have visited Britain incognito in 1803: Wales to be exact. Here is an annex to that post. The wonderful idea that Napoleon’s brother had holed up in a convent in Dorset at Marnhull no less! These were the glory years when the French were […]

    Ghost Procession or New Invention? October 27, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Ghost Procession or New Invention?

    First the problems with dates. This appears in a 1913 newspaper and had been borrowed from the Observer, which had taken it from a newspaper from ‘A Hundred Years Ago’, named Drakard’s Paper. 1813, c. 1813? For the record this does not sound like a report from 1813, but why spoil a good story Wednesday, […]

    Moth: Shakespeare’s Most Mysterious Fairy October 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Moth: Shakespeare's Most Mysterious Fairy

    An important fairy institution are bad productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which a little girl with brown butterfly wings runs on stage being announced as Moth, one of Titania’s maids. Yet bad moth costumes may all be based on a misunderstanding. The basics. Titania, it will be remembered, has four servants: Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, […]

    Monday Mermaid: Singing Florida Mermaids October 16, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Monday Mermaid: Singing Florida Mermaids

    This was published in The Orchestra in 1870. It is a curious account of singing fish in the US… It is very tempting to connect these phenomenon and others like them to the mermaid tradition: in the same way as that the rhino is presumably somewhere behind the unicorn. ‘One day as I was returning […]

    Little Fairy on the Prairie October 15, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Little Fairy on the Prairie

    Beach spends a lot of his time chasing fairies in eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century books. Because he doesn’t have an exceptional library to hand and because travel is so damn annoying he finds the best thing to do is buy books on the basis of emails from friends and readers; or ‘snippets’ on Google […]

    Page 1 of 9812345...102030...Last »