October 1938: 82-year-old Mihailo Tolotos died. He had lived his entire life in Greece's Mt. Athos monastery, which women were (are) not allowed to enter, and he was therefore believed to have been the only man in the world never to have seen a woman — or rather, the only man never to have been in the presence of a woman (except his mother, who died giving birth to him), because as the folks over at The Straight Dope point out, anyone who is born blind will have never seen a woman.
The Edinburg Daily Courier - Oct 29, 1938
In 1949, the Nixon Furniture Company featured the story of Mihailo Tolotos in one of their ads. They were worried that just as Tolotos had never seen a woman, perhaps the readers of the Raleigh Register hadn't seen all of Nixon's new furniture.
Following up on Paul's post yesterday about the Electric Pencil. Here's some art created by patients in the criminally insane ward of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington D.C., mid-1930s.
A "working model of the fourth dimension," examined by Dr. John E. Lind.
A lion (top) and a man on a horse (bottom), created by a "shellshocked, cop-killing veteran" out of chewed toilet paper, hair from clothes and blankets, and cellophane. "Jealous of his accomplishments, the veteran guards his work as assiduously as a setting hen; it must be taken from him while he is asleep."
A locomotive (top) and "something that looks like a caricature of a capitalist" (bottom) drawn by "a mental 10-year-old."
Source: Newsweek - Jan 9, 1937
Also see the earlier post, Art of the Insane, to compare artwork from patients at St. Anne Hospital in France, mid-1940s.
Train Delayed by Elephant's Antics
McCOOK, Neb., Jan. 23 — A Burlington Road passenger train was four hours late getting into Denver because an elephant kept the engineer and conductor guessing.
The engineer, officials of the road said, kept stopping the train, and the conductor repeatedly signaled for him to proceed, each wondering about the frequent stops.
Investigation disclosed an elephant in the baggage car was pulling the airbrake rope with his trunk.
Their entry at THE SKEPTIC'S DICTIONARY lets us know: "Since the death of Mr. Parker in 1964, the Kabalarians, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., have been led by Ivon Shearing who was sentenced to five years in prison in 1997 for sexually abusing several teenage girls over a twenty-five year period."
The 1999 film Ravenous (starring Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle) is about cannibalism. It's loosely inspired by the stories of the Donner Party and Alferd Packer. But it also includes the idea that eating human flesh can cure any wound or disease.
I was reminded of that film when I came across this real-life case, from 1932, of someone trying the human-flesh cure, apparently successfully. But I wonder why the husband fed his wife only a third of his thigh steak? What did he do with the rest? Does eating too much human flesh turn someone into a vampire?
The Des Moines Register - Dec 25, 1932
In Fukuoka prefecture, Japan, banking on the superstition that to eat of human flesh cures all ills, a Korean whose wife had neuralgia cut a half-pound slice of flesh off his thigh, cut the slice in three parts, cooked one part, fed it to his wife, telling her it was rabbit. His wife improved; he went to the government hospital with an infected thigh.
October 1932: A Seattle woman complained that her phone never rang, but she could tell when someone was trying to call her because her dog would start howling in the yard. The telephone repair guy investigated. Realized the dog wasn't psychic. Instead, there was a short in the line and the dog was chained to the ground wire.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.