Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cruel Mother - A Murder Ballad

Below is the classic murder ballad sung by Cindy Mangsen in traditional style. The lyrics of many different variations of this song are collected in Francis James Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads and reprinted on wikisource here (although I can't find the lyrics for this precise rendition).

Here is another version transformed into a dark soundscape by Mick Harris and Martyn Bates. While the traditional sounds like a pretty, creepy song, this one sounds more like... a confession.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Seven Dwarves Meet Their End

D.L. Ashliman, a retired folklorist from the University of Pittsburgh collects tales from all over the world. Including a version of the Snow White story from Switzerland, in which local peasants burst in on the Seven Dwarves and kill them in a rage, after assuming that they are in some kind of freaky sexual commune with their poor peasant housekeeper. It's sort of like if the dwarves were played by Harvey Keitel and Snow White was a young Jodie Foster.

It's just plain wrong. Read it here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bog Bodies - Ghoulish Evidence of Ancient Rituals

The fellow above is "Red Franz," named for his lovely, preserved hair. Peat cutters discovered him in Germany more than a hundred years ago, and he lived between 200 AD and 400 AD. I found the photo on the website of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. But it was on Archaeology.org that I learned how he died:

Museum curators only detected the actual cause of Franz’s death, when, after decades of being displayed on his back, they turned him over onto his abdomen and saw evidence of a deep gash in his throat, still visible in the remaining soft tissue of the back of his neck and shoulders.

An article in the Independent describes him as a murder victim -- he was so well-preserved that locals called the police when they first found him, thinking he was recently killed. But some bodies found in bogs in northern Europe may have been victims of human sacrifice. How often this really happened is a controversy. But I will be digging into the subject.

Devilwhippin' - A truly disturbing video

I wasn't looking for this. Neither are you.

John Carpenter's The Thing - Now With Swivel-Arm Battle Grip

This is a reimagined version of Carpenter's The Thing, only with GI Joe figures filmed in stop-motion set to the tune of a Zombie Zombie song called "Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free." I first discovered it on a blog called And Now The Screaming Starts, and it will change your life.

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