Archive for October 2010

Haunted houses: Got ghosts? A little daily exorcise should help – Telegraph   1 comment

Annesley Hall. A Grade II listed building and ...

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Haunted houses: Got ghosts? A little daily exorcise should help – Telegraph.

via Haunted houses: Got ghosts? A little daily exorcise should help – Telegraph.

he scene is a dark basement in an 18th-century town house, built on the site of an ancient monastery, within the walls of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

A couple is busy doing routine DIY tasks, when suddenly they put down their tools. A cacophony of banging is coming from upstairs. And that’s strange, because there’s no one else living in the house.

Halloween Costume Pictures: Spooky Styles a Century Ago   1 comment

College students dressed up for Halloween.

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Halloween Costume Pictures: Spooky Styles a Century Ago.

Possibly conjuring a witch, sorcerer, or clown, one woman’s 1910 Halloween costume (pictured) has several possible meanings, according to Bannatyne.

The star and moon icons, for instance, may reflect a fascination with mysticism and magic, which have been connected to the “spooky aura” of Halloween for centuries, Bannatyne said. (Related: “Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say.”)

“Many of the first Halloween costumes reflected people’s interest in the exotic, such as other cultures,” she said. “You often find Egyptian-inspired costumes, for example, because of the mystic association with ancient Egypt.”

Likewise, she added, this costume’s celestial symbols could represent night—”the domain of Halloween.”

Posted October 30, 2010 by dmacc502 in entertainment, History, photography, Uncategorized

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Going underground: Exploring the Paris Catacombs – Europe, World – The Independent   2 comments

Catacombs of Paris 01

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Going underground: Exploring the Paris Catacombs – Europe, World – The Independent.

via Going underground: Exploring the Paris Catacombs – Europe, World – The Independent.

via Going underground: Exploring the Paris Catacombs – Europe, World – The Independent.

Cataphiles are Parisian urban explorers who illegally wander the Catacombs, a term popularly used to describe a vast network of underground galleries, tunnels and crypts under Paris. Originally built after the French Revolution to house the remains of destroyed tombs during the expansion of the city, the Catacombs are testimony to over two centuries of the city’s historical heritage. For example, they were used as shelters by the French resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris in the Second World War.

 

Beginning in the late Sixties, Parisians known as Cataphiles began restoring some of these spaces, and organising ossuaries to make way for more innovative creative spaces or themed neighbourhoods.

The Catacombs (or les k’tas as they are known locally) were formerly a network of stone mines. Nearly 80 yards below the city’s cobblestones, there are no lights, electricity or even sound. There are no living creatures or fantastic urban legends in the Catacombs; however, it is estimated that as many as 300 Parisians visit the Catacombs weekly, entering via secret entrances throughout the city. Visiting them is illegal and considered trespassing, although it is mostly tolerated by locals. If caught, trespassers face a small fine.

The Magic Of Harry Houdini's Staying Power : NPR   Leave a comment

Houdini performing the Chinese Water Torture Cell

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The Magic Of Harry Houdini‘s Staying Power : NPR.

Harry Houdini was known for escaping from handcuffs, straitjackets and water tanks, but his greatest trick was escaping from the dustbin of history. After all, how many popular performers can you name from 1902? Yet more than 80 years after his death, Houdini is still referred to as the greatest magician who ever lived.

A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, called Houdini: Arts and Magic, looks at the visual legacy of Harry Houdini and how his fame managed to survive.

The answer to that question, at least in part, lies in the nature of Houdini’s legend, which was so simple that kids are still passing it around the playground. There once was a man who could escape from anything …

The Great Escaper

“He is the perfect teen idol,” says Teller, one half of the comic-magic duo Penn and Teller. Teller says each generation, from Houdini’s to today’s, has discovered that there’s something elemental about the great magician.

“[He] is this physical and mental superguy; this ultracool James Bond guy that you can strip stark naked and throw into a jail cell and he can get out,” he says. “If you are a teenager, you want self-liberation above all, and there’s Houdini as the perfect shining example of the all-American self-liberator.”

Halloween hauntings: William Hope's spirit photographs | Art and design | guardian.co.uk   Leave a comment

A "Spirit photograph" taken by the C...

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Halloween hauntings: William Hope‘s spirit photographs | Art and design | guardian.co.uk.A man’s blurred face appears next to the sitter, surrounded in an ethereal-looking ‘mist’. The signature in the upper right hand corner belongs to the sitter

Posted October 29, 2010 by dmacc502 in photography

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German foreign ministry helped Nazis flee country after the war had ended – Europe, World – The Independent   Leave a comment

 

German foreign ministry helped Nazis flee country after the war had ended – Europe, World – The Independent.

 

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Posted October 26, 2010 by dmacc502 in death, History

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First Photo Of A Human Being Ever? : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR   Leave a comment

Boulevard du Temple, Paris, IIIe arrondissemen...

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First Photo Of A Human Being Ever? : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR.

Back in September, we posted a set of old photos of Cincinnatidaguerreotypes from 1848 where I caught a glimpse of two people at the Ohio River‘s edge. That would make them among the very first people ever to appear in a candid photograph. 1848 is a long time ago. They looked like a pair of men, one tall, the other short. They were standing with what looked like a bucket between them. I figured they were there to fetch some water. I then went on in my way to talk about cholera.

Well, an eagle-eyed reader who calls himself Hokumburg (and has a spectacular blog of his own, The Hokumburg Goombah) did his own investigation, enlarged our photo, and peered more closely:

 

Posted October 25, 2010 by dmacc502 in photography, Uncategorized

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