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  • The Index Biography #20, Prize a Good Book July 31, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Index Biography #20, Prize a Good Book

    ***Gary V got this, apparently the prostitutes gave it away… Spool down for the answer*** The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The writer must find a biography of a famous individual from history, they must turn to the index and write down eight […]

    The Earliest Telephone Call from the Dead July 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Earliest Telephone Call from the Dead

    The telephone call from the dead apparently dates back to 1964 and an episode of The Twlight Zone entitled: Night Call. It transpires that the freaky calls that a woman is getting are from the grave of her dead fiancé. Beach, however, recently ran across an earlier example that he wanted to share with readers. It […]

    In Search of Nineteenth-Century Urban Legends July 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    In Search of Nineteenth-Century Urban Legends

    Urban legends are short stories typically about death, sex or crime, which are told as if they are true. They spread by word of mouth, the newspaper and any other means of communication to hand. The classic modern examples of the urban legends include the vanishing hitchhiker (a minority of urban legends have a supernatural […]

    William Allen White’s Brush With the Elm Fairies July 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    William Allen White's Brush With the Elm Fairies

    In 1972 Fate Magazine published a fascinating article by Glenn Clairmonte (1972) examining a fairy encounter of William Allen White. For those who have never heard the name WAW (obit 1944) was a self proclaimed champion of Middle America against Conservatism. His politics don’t concern us here rather what is interesting is the fact that […]

    Don’t Blame Germany July 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
    Don't Blame Germany

    Germany has never been a very popular country. But it is fair to say that Germany is perhaps more unpopular in 2015 than at any time since the bush fire memories of the Second World War started to die down in the mid 1950s. In several countries Germany is loathed: top of the list here […]

    The King of the Non-Existent Mary Ann Islands July 25, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The King of the Non-Existent Mary Ann Islands

    Strangehistory has enjoyed micronations on several occasions. However, here is a particularly early and exciting example from late nineteenth-century France.  A young pupil at the Ecole Normale of Grenoble, named Antoine Lanfrey, received by post in the course of the year a packet of papers, bearing the seal of a Royal Chancery constituting him King […]

    The Tower Monster #10: Cobblers July 24, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #10: Cobblers

    This wrap-up post looks at some of the modern accounts of the cylinder/bear ghost and particularly their inaccuracies. This is not done in a condescending way or with spite: this blogger makes factual mistake after factual mistake as his readers constantly remind him. It is, instead, to show again how we, with paranormal sources, where […]

    The Tower Monster #9: The Sexual Predator Ghost July 23, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #9: The Sexual Predator Ghost

    Chris from Haunted Ohio Books a world authority on ghosts (and urban legends, and fairies and…) has written in with an extract from a book entitled Familiar Spirits: Sexual Hauntings Through the Ages, Colin Waters, Robert Hale,1993, (for pdf extract click here) sexual hauntings. CW reviews the evidence but then reveals a new source ‘another nineteenth century […]

    The Tower Monster #8: A York Parallel July 22, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #8: A York Parallel

    One of the Notes and Query readers also suggested this as a parallel: a protean entity comes under a door and changes into different shapes or is perceived to do so. But first some background. Sir John Reresby (obit 1689) was a diarist who fought on the right side in the English civil war and […]

    The Tower Monster #7: A French Parallel July 21, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #7: A French Parallel

    The following passage did not take place in London, nor indeed in Britain but it has been offered as a parallel to the Cylinder case. Certainly there are interesting points in common. The author, Owen, had taken the account from the Baron de Guldenstubbé, in Paris, 11 May, 1859. In March of the year 1854, […]

    The Tower Monster #6: Shoe Polish Devil at the Tower July 20, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #6: Shoe Polish Devil at the Tower

    This poem appears as part of the Tower Ghost series. It appeared in an Irish paper in 1825 and was an advert for Warren’s shoe Blacking! Beach includes it because it looks very much like an outer ripple from the events of 1816. The problem is the story, which has escaped this careful reader. A […]

    The Tower Monster #5: Another Sentry July 19, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #5: Another Sentry

    This letter appeared in The Spectator, the British magazine, 21 August 1897. As it involves a sentinel at the Tower of London becoming ill on sighting a ghost it seems worth putting in this series. Some thirty years ago one of my brothers was quartered at the Tower with a detachment of his regiment, the […]

    The Tower Monster #4: A Short Story July 18, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #4: A Short Story

    This is a further source for the Tower monster. It was taken from the Western Gazette, 28 Dec 1888, but the WG in turn had taken and abridged it from the Vanity Fair Christmas Supplement. Can anyone get the original and any letters from the January editions? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com The introduction makes […]

    The Tower Monster #3: A Magnetism Account July 17, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern, Uncategorized
    The Tower Monster #3: A Magnetism Account

    This account of the Tower Monster comes from an enthusiast for magnetism, William Gregory and was published in 1851, almost a decade before the Notes and Queries material. At the trial of Queen Caroline, in 1821, the guards at the Tower were doubled, and Col. S., the keeper of the Regalia, was quartered there with […]

    The Tower Monster #2: A Contemporary Account July 16, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #2: A Contemporary Account

    The very striking witness description of Swifte can, fortunately, be supplemented by a near contemporary account. This dates from January 1816: either Swifte got January and October confused or two soldiers (not one) died after seeing an apparition. The first possibility is surely more likely? For some weeks past, a family residing in the Tower […]

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