April 18, 2011

A to Z Blog Challenge: Oh, Please! oDDities

Well, what better topic for the letter O than Oddities?

Here's one:

Paint your house like a big, bright billboard Why? They pay your mortgage! Good reason but you have to like yellow and purple (I do) and chances are the budget won't be big enough for a lot of houses. Okay, okay, maybe not too odd. Don't worry, read on, it gets weirder...

Why I thought of this topic, I'll never know... (The mind works in mysterious ways...)

I remember staring in fascination at all the weird, freaky stuff in Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. The weirdest, of course, were the shrunken heads... so indulge at this strange site complete with pix: Doc Bwana's House of Shrunken Heads

In Chicago, we had the Riverview Amusement Park- an amazing place of roller coasters, the house of mirrors and what in those pre-pc days was the freak show. Persons with unusual physical characteristics....

* See Chicago Tribune Riverview photos

* Sideshow banner art (How times change! Check out the tattooed lady banner!)

* Check out this fascinating display of Victorian freak show posters

Okay and maybe the oddest category of all: (Not for the squeamish!) Post-Mortem Photos (cabinet cards, card de viste)

I happened upon this section on eBay one day by typing in de la morte or post mortem photos. From Civil War to Victorian times, people who didn't have access to photography as in modern times regularly had that one last portrait made of a beloved child or baby that had died, or of a loved one or a war hero. It also was a custom of European families to take that final portrait of a loved one in their casket.

The photos are sad, stark, even kind of creepy (I have to wonder sometimes what nightmares the little kids had after posing with their dead baby brother/sister.) And it seems odd to see the Civil War portraits of a soldier posed upright, the only giveway his sunken eyes. Morbidly fascinating, though I had some whopper nightmares when I first saw these. And they are highly collectible. Take a look, if you dare...


  1. Creepy! I like looking at those things too, but only sometimes! Thanks for the fun links!


  2. It just makes me wonder what life was really like back then.


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