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Irish Ghosts and Irish Judges: the House on the Marsh March 13, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Irish Ghosts and Irish Judges: the House on the Marsh

Its always satisfying when the legal system and the paranormal come crashing together. Take this case from late nineteenth-century Ireland. The report appeared in a British newspaper and the writer just couldn’t hide his delight. We could have edited this down but the style is very Victorian and most splendidly supercilious. Most people are familiar […]

Who Needs Anti-Aircraft Guns When You Have Saints? March 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Who Needs Anti-Aircraft Guns When You Have Saints?

In Norman Lewis’ brilliant, astounding Naples ’44, the British writer has many curious and memorable passages from his diary of that year. However, this is one of Beach’s favourites. At Pomigliano [north-east of Naples] we have a flying monk who also demonstrates the stigmata. The monk claims that on an occasion last year when an […]

England’s First Anomalist and A Missing Manuscript? March 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
England's First Anomalist and A Missing Manuscript?

Matthew Poole (obit 1679) was an English Biblical scholar from an age and a place when that meant simultaneously the most mind numbing parsing and sensationalizing of God’s word. He wrote tracts, he preached sermons and he would generally have made rather dull if hell-fire warm dinner company: perhaps the only really interesting thing that […]

Inuit in Orkney? February 2, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Inuit in Orkney?

James Wallace was minister of Kirkwall in Orkney (Scotland). In 1688 he wrote the following account, though this was not published till 1693, by which time the good minister was dead. Sometimes about this country are seen these men they call Finnmen. In the year 1682, one was seen in his little Boat, at the […]

I’ve Been In This House Before… January 25, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
I've Been In This House Before...

There is a rare subsection of Forteana where a sensitive woman (at least in all the examples we know) visits a mystery house in dreams and then, after a long period of nightly wandering, finds herself, amazed, at the front door of her dream house on a random visit to the countryside: again the examples […]

Epiphany Gift: New Frontiers! January 6, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Epiphany Gift: New Frontiers!

The third Beachcombing epiphany gift follows: past gifts were War in Dollyland (2010) and Scary Fairies: Proto Edition (2011). In the search for information about the Fairy Investigation Society we were put onto New Frontiers by Stephen T (for which again many thanks!). New Frontiers was a short lived British paranormal magazine published in January […]

Long Distance Runner DOESN’T Disappear into Broad Daylight December 28, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Long Distance Runner DOESN'T Disappear into Broad Daylight

There is something fascinating about people just vanishing, perhaps particularly in those rare instances when people are actually watching them. Beach has recently been chasing after records for the following interesting case. We’ve taken enough words from The Examiner to give some kind of outline here. James Burne Worson was a shoemaker by trade living […]

Giant Caterpillar Outside Manchester, 1850! November 16, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Giant Caterpillar Outside Manchester, 1850!

This appeared in a northern British newspaper in 1850 relating to the Manchester area. The monster, so long the object of such contradictory reports, is now proved beyond doubt to be a real living creature. He has been seen on shore by hundreds of spectators, having originally, it is supposed, come up the Bridgewater Canal. […]

Out of Place Artefacts: Eyebrow-Raisers and Eye-Poppers October 14, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Out of Place Artefacts: Eyebrow-Raisers and Eye-Poppers

***Dedicated to Amanda and BFM*** Bad Archaeology, a necessarily quarrelsome but very worthwhile corner of the internet, is presently hosting an article on Out of Place Artefacts: objects that have turned up in places or in times where they would not be expected. As readers of Strange History will know the present author has frequently […]

Egyptologist Meets a Cat Goddess October 13, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Egyptologist Meets a Cat Goddess

***Dedicated to Silvia*** Today a cat, a goddess and the great Egyptologist Arthur Weigall (obit 1934). For those who don’t know the name, AW was a British national who got involved in the race for knowledge and treasure in the Nile Delta in the early part of the twentieth century. He worked as an archaeologist […]

Transit of Venus October 4, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Transit of Venus

Beachcombing had some fun earlier in the summer with the most famous act of nineteenth-century spiritualism: Daniel Home’s floating escapade back in 1868. He recently came across this description of a rival levitator, Agnes Nichol Guppy (obit 1917) and her famous ‘transit of Venus’.  Note that this took place some three years after Home’s own […]

A Fairy Encounter in Nineteenth-Century Madrid September 10, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
A Fairy Encounter in Nineteenth-Century Madrid

***And so it begins… first class today: unpleasant warm fuzzy feeling in stomach, awareness that no more proper research for six months*** Beach just stumbled across this curious account of a sighting of little people in Madrid in the 1860s. The witness was a nineteenth-century spiritualist: the account begins with her own curious take on […]

See But Can’t Touch August 15, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
See But Can't Touch

Beach travelled by plane earlier this summer with little Miss B to the UK. Aged just four his daughter marvelled as she looked out of the window at the cloudlands that stretched away in every direction: Beach remembers a similar marvelling when he was about ten and went on his first long plane journey. Things […]

The Cloud of Death, Hawker and A Letter to the Times August 10, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Cloud of Death, Hawker and A Letter to the Times

A pleasing example of how something unusual can get blow up into something extraordinary. A letter to The Times 1 Dec 1858 from North Cornwall [this date appears to be slightly wrong, it must be a couple of days later] To the Editor of The Times Sir, Last night, at 15 minutes to 9, it […]

Mutant Hares, Modern Satyrs and Centaurs July 26, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Mutant Hares, Modern Satyrs and Centaurs

Fairies are so ‘yesterday’. What about the more exotic fauna from the forests of the imagination? Let’s start with the mutant hare at Windsor! I remember Lilian, Countess of Cromartie, telling me of a strange incident that once happened to her. She was walking alone one bright summer morning in Windsor Great Park. Suddenly she […]

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