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A Japanese legend tells about a female ghost called Kuchisake-onna, who is the soul of a woman murdered by her jealous husband. This spirit is blamed for many deaths since the 1600s. She walks along dark streets and alleys, covering her mouth...
Giovanni Aldini (1762–1834) was a professor of physics at Bologna who had a scientific interest in a variety of fields. But the one that stands out most was galvanism. Aldini helped put together a group of scientists in Bologna to experiment in...
A good size of the population has a fascination with the macabre and specifically psychopaths. Nightly entertainment is chock-full of crazy, psychotic killers, and for some reason, we can’t get enough of them. What might our insatiable interest in the vilest of...
San Francisco, California A psychedelic labyrinth on the San Francisco bay. PEOPLE STUMBLE ABOUT THE LABYRINTH, arms outstretched. Even so, they sometimes find themselves smacking headfirst into their own reflection. Shrieking and giggling...
Forman took up astrology in mid-life, and between 1596 and 1603, he averaged 2,000 consultations every year. That means he had an impact on huge number of Elizabethan lives, and since he documented them—and himself—in such detail, he is one of the...
Carl Linnaeus was an 18th-century botanist who developed a system of classification and taxonomy that we still use today. He saw similarities that allowed plants and animals to be grouped into categories, and he believed in a lot of mythical creatures that...
Imagine, if a bold explorer had pioneered the sea route from Europe to India centuries before Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama. Well, that’s exactly what the brothers Vadino and Ugolino Vivaldi attempted to do in 1291. The...
In 1503, the Portuguese courtier Vasco Corte-Real equipped two ships for an expedition to what is now Northeastern Canada. His goal was to search for his younger brother Miguel, who had vanished off the coast of Newfoundland while searching for his even...
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was one of the best swordsmen in Europe in the late 18th century. Born on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, which was under French rule at the time, he was an illegitimate son of a plantation owner...
Ogres don’t exactly look like Shrek. Or at all like Shrek. In mythology they are described as being extremely large, with even larger heads that sprout abundant hair, off-colored skin and a strong appetite for humans, especially children. Ogres have appeared as...

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The woman who refused to die.

In 1650, housemaid Anne Greene was seduced by the grandson of her employer and became pregnant. But...

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The strange mystery of the man from Taured

It’s July 1954; a hot day. A man arrives at Tokyo airport in Japan. He’s of Caucasian appearance and conventional-looking. But the officials are...