Category:
Eccentrics

The Attack-Trained Iguanas of Irenee du Pont

Irénée du Pont was president of the Du Pont Company from 1919 to 1925, and remained on its board of directors until 1958.

He built a mansion named Xanadu down in Cuba, where he trained iguanas to attack and kill on his command. Details from Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain by Gerard Colby:

the most bizarre of Irénée's pastimes was his large collection of iguanas. Irénée spent thousands of dollars to breed, feed, and keep these crocodile-like lizards in specially constructed pens. Some of these tough, vicious lizards grew to 3 feet in length under Irénée's loving care, and more than once the old industrialist was seen marching about with one of these ugly beasts crawling next to him on a leash. Irénée derived a peculiar kind of pleasure from these lizards. By barking a command, he could make them all come out of their pens and surround him, standing at attention. He had trained them, on another command, to attack a target to kill. It was an appalling example to the Cubans of the degeneracy of the idle rich. In a moment of the bizarre captured for history, a Life photographer in 1957 recorded old Irénée feeding his iguanas papaya from a jar at a time when most of the Cuban population was suffering from malnutrition.

"Irénée du Pont, 80, bends to pat an iguana on his Cuban estate where many of these lizards wander. He feeds them papaya from jar he holds"
Life - Aug 19, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 08, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Eccentrics

The Odd Downfall of Mary Carolyn Davies



From pulp writer and poet to Skid Row: writing has never been an easy career.

Read the whole arc of her life here.

Read some of her fiction at the Internet Archive.

Newspaper clip from The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) 08 Feb 1940, Thu Page 20





Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 29, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, Literature, Money, Twentieth Century

Dannie Druehyld, Only Official Witch of Denmark, Has Passed



Some interesting videos, not in English, at the obituary.

Dannie Druehyld knew every single plant and stone in Rold Skov, after calling the forest [her] home for more than 30 years. Now Denmark has lost its only officially registered witch. Dannie Druehyld died on Monday, aged 74. She leaves behind a daughter and a granddaughter.

According to Dannie Druehyld, she was a witch before she was born, and in Rold Skov she has over the years taught children and adults about the forest's magic, folk beliefs and ancient wisdom through her workshop in the Rebild Center. She has also published several books, including "The Witch's Handbook", which tells about witch life all year round.


Posted By: Paul - Wed May 05, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, New Age, Religion, Rituals and Superstitions, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Europe

Goliath Messiah, the backward-running mystic

1938: Bronx-resident Goliath Messiah celebrated his 72nd birthday by running backwards for three miles. This was an annual birthday tradition for him. He attributed his good health to a diet of "tree bark, fruit, green vegetables and a pint of wine daily." Also, he claimed to be a descendant of Xerxes.

Later he moved to Death Valley where, he predicted, his daily five-mile hikes would allow him to live to be 150. I haven't been able to find out what age he actually was when he died. I suspect Goliath Messiah wasn't the name the government knew him by, which makes it difficult to get info about him.



Los Angeles Times - Apr 25, 1938



San Bernardino County Sun - July 22, 1941

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, 1930s

The Umbrellaship



The creator's website.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 15, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Outsider Art, Transportation

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

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