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Strange Reports

River Monster Sighted in London’s River Thames

Thames MonsterMarch 27th, YouTube user Penn Plate, posted an unusual video of what appears to be a dark object briefly breaking the surface of the water, before fully submersing itself in the cloudy river.

Though the glimpse of the dark object is brief, we are able to determine that it is of a darker color, and that there are possibly two dorsal fins, or ridges along its back. Speculation of the object ranges from whale, to submarine, to shark, to garbage, to the Loch Ness’s biggest celebrity – Nessie. Whatever it is, it’s nice to have some cryptid news in the mainstream media feed.

As it does, news of this unidentified object has spread like wildfire. Why is that? The unknown nature and knowledge of what populates this planets waters can be a terrifying rabbit hole if you descend down it. Probably, this is a stray whale or shark, that, because of global warming, or shock waves, has gone astray from it’s normal migratory path and found itself in the Thames. No news as of right now what it is, but I am curious to hear thoughts, comments, and your own opinions!

 

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When Thanksgiving Was Weird

I just caught an interesting article about a strange tradition that used to be held in the United States in the early 1900’s. Linton Weeks, over at NPR news, has dug up an old tradition that many have forgotten, or never knew about. Thanksgiving Maskers, Ragamuffin Parades, or Parade of Fantastics, call them what you will, judging by the photos on Mr. Weeks’s post, Thanksgiving used to look a lot like Halloween. thanksgiving-masking2-8b7c2cebbe3492b97c4babd3e2c60965e3e962d8-s1900-c85 So many people took part in this tradition that the mask making industry could hardly keep up. “The busiest time of the year for the manufacturers of and dealers in masks and false faces. The fantastical costume parades and the old custom of making and dressing up for amusement on Thanksgiving day keep up from year to year in many parts of the country, so that the quantity of false faces sold at this season is enormous.” – Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1897. thanksgiving-masking-72779d2c588f365f232d0256ffb8fb92390583a1-s1900-c85 The young masqueraders would slink along the streets pan handling for pennies, apples, or other goodies, when asking “What’s for Thanksgiving?” It would be no surprise if you found yourself handing over a delicious candy to a faux Charlie Chaplin doppelganger or a creepy young lady with a nylon screen over her face for a mask. Ahh memories. Good stuff from Linton Weeks, and I highly suggest you check out his article to discover more of the forgotten truths and traditions of Thanksgiving in America. Click here to check out the strange side of a beloved tradition.


Miskatonic West, The Lovecraftian Web Series is Fully Funded

Another Kickstarter that flew under my weird radar has been fully backed. Miskatonic West is going to be an all new web series created by Harry Kakatsakis. The synopsis of the series is as follows:

In the world of HP Lovecraft; the creaking of a door, a shadow passing in your periphery or a bizarre siting at sea could mean any number of things, natural or supernatural. The massive sea god, Dagon, may have really existed in a primordial age. Whole civilizations of alien beings may have coursed across the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The ability to reanimate the dead may actually be possible. Lovecraft wrote about these possibilities at the turn of the 20th century. They thought he was a fiction writer. He wasn’t. Everything he wrote about exists, and now Lovecraft’s distinguished Miskatonic University has a Southern California location.

Miskatonic West follows the exploits of Sousaku Kaos, the head of Miskatonic’s biology department, and his band of intrepid students as they pull the curtain back on a world of monsters, magic and mystery inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Helping the LAPD with “cases of interest,” Kaos and his students must uncover a plot to awaken Dagon, the ancient ocean god, by the Esoteric Cult of Dagon, before it and an army of deep ones invade the West Coast.

In making Miskatonic West, the creators hope to bring the same verisimilitude and realism that Lovecraft brought to his writings of close encounters with the monstrous and supernatural. With an eye towards cinematic integrity, we want to bring the world of Lovecraft into an emotionally honest light and capture what it would be like to encounter things that should not be and the toll it might take on one’s sanity.

If you are a Lovecraft fan, a fan of monsters, mystery, suspense and human drama join us in making this web series a reality. Thank you.

I am personally looking forward to viewing this when some episodes are off the ground. Though it was narrowly fully funded, I believe this series could contain some quality Lovecraftian goodness. But i’ll let you be the judge of that. Below is the teaser/trailer for the series. Let me know what you think, or drop by their Facebook page and give them some feedback.

If you have checked out Miskatonic West, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Bulgarian Farmer Finds Skull of Banished Werewolf

Happy Halloween Gibberers! This post brought to you in part by Rick Dyer… Just kidding.

skull in hand1While attending to some research on the Balkan War, Bulgarian student Filip Ganov was called upon to photograph something strange, yet fairly familiar in the local culture. After arriving at Macedonian farmer Trayche Draganov’s home, Ganov was eerily surprised to find a straw bedded wood crate with an almost mummified skull of what Draganov claimed to be a Varkolak, or werewolf.

While tending he field, Trayche said he dug up the wooden crate that, at the time, was wrapped and fastened shut with a gold chain. Fascinated, Granov asked to confiscate the skull for further testing and investigation, but Trayche simply refused allowing only pictures to be taken at this time (This by the way is the cause for the Rick Dyer comment at the head of the post.)

skull in boxSome of the best theory from officials after looking at the photos claim that it could have possibly been a wolf or K9 of some sort that suffered from Paget’s disease, a condition that can increase skull size and shape. However, until Mr. Draganov decides to submit something for official DNA testing this will remain mystery. So far I have heard nor seen any report as to what the lettering is on the lid of the box. It is believed to be a form of Cryllic script, which is known in the Bulgaria and Macedonia area.

In local folklore, werewolves, or Varkolak’s, were typically found on a Saturday laying about their graves. Upon capture they were decapitated and the body burned for proper disposal and banishment of the monster. By looking at what Trayche has uncovered, this was a successful capture and kill.

baboon

Baboon skull

Personally, due to the fact that the farmer will not hand over the specimen I have to believe that this is a clever hoax in time for Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love this, however by looking to the right, you can’t tell me that Draganov’s skull doesn’t kind of look like a baboon skull.

On one final note, I had to laugh at a comment that was recorded by Trayche Draganov, it reads; “Many of my neighbors are angry that I disturbed the varkolak (werewolf), they say that I will be reborn as a werewolf. If that is now my fate, so be it. What is done is done.” – Ancient origins.

If you have checked this story out, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Controversy Over Gollum Creature Siting In China

After photos surfaced Tuesday of an apparent “Gollum” creature spotted near the Great Wall of China, the story went viral. Within a day tens of thousands of comments and speculations collected as to what the thing could be. Anything from a hybrid pig man, to an actual “Gollum” (A character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit books) or an ancient lineage of mountain folk being discovered. All the talk got people pretty excited, as will happen when these possible hoax photos pop up.

But new controversy has sprung up after a young man has come forward with not only his testimony, but with photos of him in makeup and being photographed for a local advertisement. However, though it seems very likely that that is the case, some folks have began to point out marked differences in the photos taken by a wayward hiker, and those provided by the young man in the costume, such as; why are the ears slightly shaped different? Or why do the eyes look smaller or closed, when in the costume they are gaping holes. The initial photos by the hiker have been proven authentic and not modified, yet I still see what maybe shoes on the creatures feet, which made me curious before I found that this may all be a hoax.

fakefake2

Along with these differences come a string of questions in regards to why a hiker would spot this “guy in a costume” and no photographers or crew shooting the young man. The hiker explains that while he was on his journey, near the Great Wall, that he was struck with fear as he spotted a bronze skin toned creature drinking water from a small pond (Below.)

drinkingdrinking2In comparison to the photo of the man in the costume, I am curious as to how he is able to drink with his hands through the mask. Not only that but I feel as though the eyes and ears look slightly different in the photos supplied by the hiker.

Either way, its always fun to have a new hoax to speculate about. I feel people gasp tightly to these kinds of false discoveries because we need something new and different in this world. Hence the reason people are so keen on finding bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster or aliens. It gets our imagination running at full speed. It scares us and exhilarates us. It makes us feel alive when we find something strange or unlike us living and reminds us that maybe, just maybe we humans aren’t so special in a world, or universe full of possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lovecraft eZine Issue #31, June 2014

Art by Lee Copeland – http://www.leecopeland.com

Art by Lee Copeland – http://www.leecopeland.com

That’s right, the June issue of the Lovecraft eZine is up and out there folks. This months enjoyment includes, of course, the free online edition, the nook/kindle format, a special print edition, and soon the podcast/recorded edition of this issue. Currently at #31, it is hard to believe that this online fiction eZine has made it so long. I have seen many similar sites/mags come and go, yet there is something special that keeps this Lovecraftian train rolling; The people. The community that Mike Davis has gathered is special. They are kind, supportive, and generally interested in each other when given the chance. This is a good place people, and a good environment to breed creativity and generosity to our fellow man in this insignificant universe we live in.

Though video chats, games, contests, and general awesomeness on Mike’s behalf, the Lovecraft eZine has trudged through the primordial soup of the internet that commonly drags down and devours many a man and fiction mags alike. But with a thriving cult… uh I mean community supporting and enjoying what Mike does, there is no end in sight for this… uh… site… yeah.

This months issue includes stories from a few commonly known entities in the Lovecraftian writing milieu; Joseph S. Pulver, Ross E. Lockhart, and Scott Nicolay. And features a few regular columns that everyone thirsts for; Robert M. Price’s Echoes from Cthulhu’s Crypt, and Ronnie Tucker & Maxwell Patterson’s hilarious comic strip, Cthulhu Does Stuff.

Get over to The Lovecraft eZine and share in the weirdness. Enjoy a little horror and maybe gain some perspective through the tales you read or the information you siphon from these texts. While there, do Mike, and presumably every reader and partaker of the site, a plus one and buy the print edition, or simply click on one of the sponsors that endorse the eZine, or click on one of the Amazon portals to access all sorts of Lovecraftian goodness while supporting the site.

zineheader2014-2


Book Bound in Actual Human Skin

bookboundinskinThe book you see to your left has officially been identified as being bound in human skin. June 4th a tweet from the Harvard Library confirming that a copy of French writer Arsene Houssaye’s “Des destiness de l’ame” was given to friend Dr. Ludovic Bouland. The book in question, when translated, is a text entitled “a meditation on the soul and life after death.”

It was upon his receiving of the book that Buffalo Bill… oh I’m sorry Dr. Bouland bound the book in human skin (believed to belong to the back of an unclaimed female mental patient, who died of natural causes,) because, and I quote:

“I had kept this piece of human skin taken from the back of a woman, … A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering,”

Though it is not uncommon to see a skin bound book in the Harvard Library, they are typically bound in sheep skin. And after many tests, including a check to make sure its not ape skin… cause that’s lest creepy… they concluded with 99.9% confidence that the cover is indeed human and not some makeshift paper bag book cover we all did in junior high and high school to protect our texts.

Although I’m sure a plethora of tests weren’t really necessary since Boulden was kind enough to leave a note within the book declaring that the book was lined with human flesh. Because why would someone lie about that, especially back in 1880.

In all seriousness though, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of these popped up in the future. Though the texts may be archaic, back in the 16th century it was common and even a manner of remembrance to bind a book in human flesh, or for criminal confessions to be bound in the perpetrators skin.

It is also known that numerous 19th Century accounts exist of the bodies of executed criminals being donated to science, their skins later given to bookbinders.

Turns out human skin