The real chilling story of “Lolita”

I already wrote a post about the real stories and legends behing the most famous fairy tales (click HERE if you missed it)but, did you know that “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov was inspired by a real chilling story.

Florence “Sally” Horner‘s tragic story hit the country’s newspapers in 1950. Five years later, Nabokov’s novel about charming Humbert Humbert and 12-year-old Dolores Haze (a.k.a., Lolita) began to arrive in bookstores.

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On June 1948, Florence stole a note book from a local supply shop. The act was a rite of passage, the token for admittance to a girl’s club, a sorority she was eager to join. A man who claimed to be an FBI agent caught her in the act. He was way more older than the 11-year-old girl and he frightened her… but let her go, until the following day, when he appeared outside her school. This time he had some “instructions” : She’d have to convince her mother he was the father of two school friends, inviting her to a seashore vacation. He would take care of the rest with a phone call and a convincing appearance at the Camden bus depot.

His name was Frank La Salle, and he was no FBI agent. It took 21 months to break free of him, after a cross-country journey from Camden, New Jersey, to San Jose, California.

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La Salle was already a convicted rapist and molested the girl, telling her that if she didn’t comply, he’d turn her in for stealing. During these years the pair travelled the country and where she attended school he pretended to be her father.

It was almost two years until Sally was able to reach out for help and break away from her perpetrator. LaSalle was arrested and Sally was 13-year-old, but her story took a tragic turn as she died two years later, killed in a car accident.

Nabokov saved newspaper clippings about the case, which he scribbled detailed notes on, but his debt to the defining experience in Horner’s life remains largely unknown to the reading public.

Elle Palmer. xo

 

 

 

 

 

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Cofiwch Dryweryn

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In 1956, the Liverpool City Council sponsored a private bill that was pushed through parliament which allowed the council to flood the Tryweryn Valley in Wales without the consent of local representatives. The village of Capel Celyn, located in the valley, was one of the last Welsh-only communities at that time; In 1956, the Welsh language was being oppressed both politically and socially by the British government. During a vote for the proposed drowning of the Tryweryn Valley, 35 of the 36 Members of Parliament in Wales voted against the bill, with one abstention. The villagers of Capel Celyn, Wales fought the bill for eight long years. Many residents participated in a march from their doomed village to London in order to protest. In London, a reporter from BBC asked one protester why he wished to save the village when it was not by any means the most important or beautiful community in Wales. He responded, “Listen. My wife may not be the most important woman in Wales, nor the most beautiful. But I love her! And I certainly wouldn’t drown her.”. Despite the efforts of Welsh citizens and local representatives, the valley of Tryweryn Wales was drowned in 1965. Today, two churches and their graveyards (one of which is a Quaker cemetery) still remain underwater in the former village of Capel Celyn along with a school, a post office and other flooded structures and farmlands.

Sadly, despite the fact that the Liverpool City Council assured the citizens of Capel Celyn that their loved one’s bodies would be relocated to another cemetery, only eight bodies were exhumed to be moved at the request of surviving family.

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Beginning in 1957, many Welsh across north and mid-Wales have written  “Cofiwch Dryweryn” (“Remember Tryweryn”) in graffiti as a reminder of history of their rocky relationship with Britain. In 2005, the Liverpool City Council officially apologized for the drowning of Tryweryn Wales.

Local legend has it that, from time to time, you can hear the bells of capel celyn tolling, in memory of the dead who were not moved.

Elle Palmer. xo

 

It’s 2018…(Oh Sh!t)

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Hey y’all my fellow weirdos! First thing first HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can’t believe it’s 2018 already! 2017 just flew and I can’t believe that I wrote my last post in june! EMBARASSING! A lot of things happened, some of them good, some of them… well, not that nice, but at least I’m here.

You will soon (and by soon I mean TOMORROW!) be reading new posts and I will also try, I promise to do my best, to offer you new contents.

In the meantime I want to thank who sent me messages and comments asking me where the hell I was. Thank you so so much!

Also, I created a Ko-fi page. If you enjoy reading my posts then here you can offer me a coffee. (Don’t worry, it’s not a subscription kind of thing, where you have to pay every month…it’s just a simple coffee and for me, being italian, means a lot!). Click HERE to take a look.

Bye for now!

Elle Palmer. xo

 

 

William Hope and the CREWE Circle

The Crewe Circle was a group of spirit photographers based in Crewe, England and led by William Hope, paranormal investigator and pioneer of the “spirit photography”.

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He first noticed his talent for photographing spirits when he was taking photos with a friend. One of the photo’s that Hope had taken showed an extra person behind his friend. It was claimed that it was his friends dead sister.

At first, the group worked in secret, scared of being suspected of witchcraft, but when an Archbishop joined the group, they made their work public. By 1922 William Hope moved to London and established himself as a professional medium. It was at this time that The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) became interested in him and his photo’s.

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Over the years the spirit photographs taken by the members of the CREWE circle have come under detailed examination and have been dismissed as fraudulent by many. Harry Price, sent by the Society for Psychical Research, claimed that Hope messed with the photo plates, but many of Hope’s supporter didn’t believe him.  One of the biggest supporter of William Hope and The Crewe Circle was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote The Case for Spirit Photography, in response to Price’s claims of fraud. Hope continued to practice, despite his exposure, until his death in 1933.

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Elle. xx

 

 

 

 

Necropolis Line

London has several transport links, but did you know that there was one that used to carry dead people and their mourners?

The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 and carried coffins from the Waterloo station to Brookwood cemetery. There were separate hearse cars for Anglicans and Dissenters, and three classes of carriage for the living and the dead.

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A First Class corpse received a higher level of customer care and nicely decorated carriage. Trains ran straight into the cemetery grounds, there were two stations, each for different parts of the cemetery, North for Dissenters and South for Anglicans, adjacent to the corresponding chapels. The South Station was licensed and in addition for funeral parties, offered afternoon tea to visitors strolling in the cemetery, it also operated as a pub, which did much to reconcile the locals to the giant cemetery on their doorstep.

Brookwood received the dead from overcrowded London parishes, in a series of subdivisions, many of which resemble old-fashioned churchyards with their hedges and lynch-gates. As well as accomodating Anglicans and Dissenters, Brookwood was one of the first cemeteries in Britain to offer burial facilities to Muslims and Sikhs.

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The two stations in the cemetery were demolished during the 1960s and the ruins later caught fire. The tracks were long since lifted away to be melted or reused elsewhere. In London, the entrance building to the private station at 121 Westminster Bridge Road remains largely intact, but the name Necropolis Cemetery Station that was once inscribed is no longer there.

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I love living in London, so many unusual things to discover that make a weirdo like me very happy!

Elle. xx

Hunterian Museum

Hello y’all fellow weirdos! It’s been a while since my last post, my apologies, but life here in London is crazy. Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for unordinary places to visit…and believe me, here in London there are loads of them! Lucky me!

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Finally I had the chance to visit the Hunterian Museum, which is the home of the biggest collection of human and animal anatomical and pathological specimens I’ve ever seen in my life.

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All those little jars filled with your fears, because yes, if you are like me and suffer from entomophobia (aka insectophobia), then you might have some problems. Trust me, this is the closest I can be to a (dead) insect, although the iridescent beetles were too cute.

 

If you are into medicine and surgery, or if you are an all-round weirdo like myself, you might find the section they have regarding surgery history very fascinating. Cases full of old medical devices that make you cringe when thinking of their use.

Here you can also admire the skeleton of Charles Byrne – the Irish giant, well preserved foetuses, deformities, bizarre animals and so on. This museum is a treasure for the curious minds and even if you don’t have a “medical background” it definitely worth the visit, is free and the gift shop is adorable, here you will find tiny glow-in-the-dark skeletons, skeleton t-shirts and a lot of interesting books.

The Hunterian Museum
Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE

Elle. xx

Kensal Green Cemetery

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When I’m in a very bad mood I usually go and have a walk in a cemetery, and luckily for me, the Kensal Green Cemetery is just around the corner from wher I live.

Founded as the General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green Cemetery was the first of the “Magnificent Seven” garden-style cemeteries in London. The others are: West Norwood Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery, Abney Park Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Brompton Cemetery and Tower Hamlets Cemetery… which I’m planning to visit them all.

The gothic architecture gives to this place a very suggestive atmosphere, moreover the grey sky and the biting wind added a scary undertone to this experience. Indeed I couldn’t visit the entire place as it was rainy and the muddy ground didn’t help, but definitely will pay another visit again, as I said is just around the corner.

The Friends of Kensal Green, an organistation involved in the preservation of the cemetery, offer guided tours every Sunday afternoon from the beginning of March to the end of October and the first and third Sunday of the month in November, December, January and February. At the end of the tour there will be tea and biscuits inside the Dissenters’ Chapel. –Here– all the infos you might need.

A big, important thing is that The Weirdo is finally on YouTube! Here’s my very first video, but to be honest I’m still trying to understand how this whole thing works (including the editing program!) Hope you will enjoy it! Of course, remember to subscribe if you don’t want to miss my weird adventures here in London!

Elle. x