Friday, May 17, 2013

Invisible Clowns

A 40 year-old Arizona man was visiting his mom in Wisconsin.
But I don’t think she will ever invite him back, not unless she wants another case of invisible clowns.

The man was on some sort of drug that was making him think that there was invisible clowns in his moms house, so he did the most logical thing, pulled out his shot gun and shot at them.

Police were called to the home of the man’s mother in Roberts, Wisconsin, a small town across the border from the Twin Cities.

When the police got to the house, the man came to the door, still yelling at clowns that weren’t there.
He went back inside and fired more shots in the house and came to the porch with the shotgun and a string of ammunition around his neck.

The police were waiting outside with guns drawn.

The man did not respond to officers’ commands, but when he slipped and fell, deputies were able to take him into custody...or maybe the clowns tripped him.

What is the truth?

On his way to the hospital, the man told medical crews he had taken a hallucinogenic drug and believed people dressed as clowns were attacking his mother’s home, that he had shot and killed several of them, and that his mother had been killed in the attack.

In reality, nobody was injured in the incident, though the man shot at his mother and her boyfriend as they were trying to flee the home in their vehicle.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Makura Gaeshi

Have you ever woke up and realized your pillow is in a very strange place?
You had a peaceful night but still your pillow is in the strangest and weirdest position ever.

Or you wake up, and you find yourself on the other side of the bed, completely disoriented!
Even though you had a good sleep it happens to us all.
But how is this possible?
Is there a reason?

The legend

The Makura Gaeshi will creep up to people who are sleeping and turn their pillows around, or sometimes put it to their feet or even move their sleeping bodies, so they wake up with their heads where their feet were supposed to be.

Another story says that a blind man that was murdered by an inn owner lingered on as a spirit in the room where the deed happened, and turned into a makura-kaeshi.
If he actually turns the entire sleeper around, so that his head is where his feet were, this would not only be very amusing to the Makura Gaeshi, but also very chilling to the sleeper when he finally wakes up.

In a book about Japanese ghosts, in a section regarding funeral customs, the Japanese (traditionally) only sleep facing south.
Consequently, when someone dies, they are laid down with their head facing north.
To wake up in a position normal only for a corpse would be unsettling indeed!
As a Western parallel, it would be like waking up in a coffin.

One story mentions a kappa that got a kick out of doing this.
Then he got caught, repented and even put it down in writing that he'll never pull a trick like that again.
And because he'd been so good, he turned into a zashiki-warashi, and apparently still tends to show up in a certain ryokan in Iwate province, in the town of Ninohe.

Another story is about a jizō statue that moves peoples' pillows--if you sleep next to it with your feet towards it, you'll wake up to find the pillow next to your feet, closer to the statue.

The pillow or makura:

Along with the pillows of court ladies from Heian, the wooden neck stands that they placed their heads on in order not to mess up their hair while sleeping were also called makura.
These wooden makura were often made with tiny little drawers, and the court ladies put their diaries in them, so nobody could read them while they were asleep.

And since they put all of their most secret thoughts into those diaries, it's not difficult to see how that would lead to a belief that a person's soul rests in a pillow/makura while they are asleep.

What is the truth?

It would be a very scary to tell your kids.
They would freak out if they ever see there pillow elsewhere!

It does happen you wake up on the other side of the bed, and is does happen you find your pillow elsewhere.
But is the Makura Gaeshi the reason?

Or something or someone else...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Sausage Murders

1864, in an emergent town in the South of Brazil called Porto Alegre (lit. “Happy Harbour”), a crime shocked its citizens and could make even Sweeney Todd a bit disgusted.

The “Crime na Rua do Arvoredo” or how it’s sweetly called around Brazil “The Sausage Murders”.

The story

Around in 1860, Rio Grande do Sul (lit. “Big River of the South”), which is one of the three South states of Brazil, was facing tons of revolutionary wars - Porto Alegre was not directly involved in them, but since it was the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, news about the wars spread widely through the (then) small town: nothing more than 20 thousand people lived there.
It was also brimming with German and Italian immigrants that came to the city with dreams of prosperity and the promise of a new life.

It was when one of these immigrants, a German butcher working in the city at the time called Carl Goetibb Clausser suddenly disappeared, and was replaced by an ex police officer called José Ramos, that things started to get really weird.

Ramos had a beautiful wife called Catarina Palsen, who was of Hungarian descent (apparently born on Transylvania - what a nice coincidence).
She had wonderful long blonde hair, shiny blue eyes and a curvaceous body - rumor has it that men could not resist her charms.

And that’s exactly how Ramos lured his victims into his trap.

As soon as Catarina got her hand on another man, she’d whisper him sweet words and take them to her house, claiming that her husband, the butcher, “wouldn’t be home for a while”.
She would then make love to them and serve them a wonderful supper afterwards - that’s when Ramos would come out of the darkness and smash a hatchet right into their heads, dropping them through a whole on the ground craftily done so it wouldn’t raise any suspicions.
If the victims happened to still be alive, he’d cut their throats with a knife meticulously.

Then, Ramos would go down to the secret room with Catarina, take off the victim’s clothes and belongings and turned them into meat - more specifically into sausages, which he sold at the public market.

And the most terrifying thing is that it was extremely well-received, and people would get into long, long lines just to get Ramos special sausage... without even knowing what they were made of.

“It’s a special meat. A secret.” Ramos would say with a devilish smirk that his costumers didn’t quite catch while gorging themselves on the meat.

When asked where did Mr. Clausser went, Ramos would only say that the man sold the store to him and left back home to Germany.

This didn’t really raised much suspicions; it wasn’t until a sixteen year old boy and a salesman disappeared that the police got involved.
As soon as they went to search the house after the neighbours heard a scream, probably the boy, the police found out the carcasses of the bodies that the couple used to make their famous sausage, including the body of Mr. Clausser, and soon they were taken in and arrested for slaughter.

The aftermath

Since José Ramos was an ex-policeman (that was discharged because of his extreme violence - going so far as almost killing another policeman over a lost bet) and also a close friend of the general that followed his case, Mr. Dario Callado (that was as violent as Ramos was), his sentence for life was filled with regalies, and he died comfortably only on the year of 1893, from lepra, two years after Catarina had died, mentally ill, in an asylum.

Catarina was actually the one who cooperated with the police; she told them all about the murders and how they planned it all, whilst Ramos didn’t really said anything.
In fact, he pleaded innocent for all the charges dropped on him.
He never told his reasons and how many people he killed, leaving a mist of mystery into the murders that will never be revealed.

The journals of the time tried to tamper down the case, and only internationally it was recognized and widespread (particularly in France and Uruguay) - apparently to try and make the citizens of Porto Alegre forget that they had inadvertently became cannibals for a while.
Actually, it appears that the citizens themselves didn’t want to talk about the crime after it was solved. Nevertheless, it was spread to the city like fire, and even now we still hear and comment on the case, being pass on by families like you would a dead grandfather’s watch or something as equally unique and keep-safe.

The street where it all happened is now called Rua Fernando Machado, and most of the places there maintain the architecture of those times.
Most of the houses on the street carry a eerie sort of look to them and most are abandoned.
The house where the murder happened was demolished, and only the trees from the old Arvoredo Street are still up.

What is the truth?

The most chilling thing about this case was that it was actually real.

A journalist/writer/historian called Décio Freitas, having listened about this story for his whole life but never given actual proof about it went to find them himself.
Freitas found most of the documents for the crime’s judgment, and even if most of them were written in archaic portuguese that was almost impossible to understand, were missing lots of information and lack of some important documents, a huge part of it was more than enough to prove the crime’s existence.

Freitas went on to write a nice detailed book on the case, called “O Maior Crime da Terra” (lit. “The Greatest Crime on Earth”, 1996).

There’s also a fictional take on the murders called “Canibais: Paixão e Morte na Rua do Arvoredo” (lit. “Cannibals: Passion and Death on Arvoredo Street”, 2005 ) written by David Coimbra.

I don’t think either of them were translated into other languages, but if you can get a copy of it on your language read ‘em.
They’re great and go into deep detail on the case.

I guess the moral of the story is “be careful what - or whom - you eat.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Scary Picdump

Enjoy your monthly scary picdump with strange and scary dolls !

 Julien Martinez

Marina Bychova

Beth Robinson

Jan Svankmajer

Elizabeth McGrath

Kerry Kate Patterson

The Brothers Quay

Lesley-Anne Green

Ben Strawn And Jessica Robin

Pat Lillich

Scott Radke

Chomick & Meder

Jon Beinart

Virginie Ropars

D.L. Marian