Gloomy Sunday – The Song That Kills.

Heartbreaks can cause despair, especially when you break up with someone you really love.

When Rezsö Seress, a hungarian composer (1899-1968), has been left by his girlfriend because of his lack of professional success and his stubbornness in wanting to continue in the musical career despite failures, he composed a very sad song called “Szomorú Vasárnap“, which means “Gloomy Sunday”. This song had a huge success, and is known as the suicide song.
The first documented case occured in Budapest: the shoemaker Joseph Keller was found dead in his home, it was immediately clear that it was a suicide. The police discovered near the body a farewell letter in which he quoted the words of Gloomy Sunday. This song had claimed its first victim.
There were at least 17 of these dark connections between suicides and Gloomy Sunday. In most cases, the victims had committed suicide by jumping into the Danube River carrying a copy of the song, so for this reason, throughout Hungary, the song was banned.
Seress driven by the fame reached, decided to recontact his former girlfriend to show her that his perseverance was rewarded but a few days later she was found dead and next to her body was found a note where it was written Gloomy Sunday.

Due to these unfortunate events the song reached a big success that it was released throughout the rest of the Europe, here too there were reports of strange events related to its listening. Berlin, Rome, London, this song was claiming victims everywhere. The bad reputation of Gloomy Sunday all over Europe, and the increase of suicides in England, led the BBC to prohibit the transmission in its listings and even nightclubs, pubs and many other followed the example. This ban remained in place until 2002. The same thing happened in France and in other countries.

The reputation of this song spreads even more so that the Chappell & Company took charge of its release in America and, even if translated in english, in May 1936, a young boy was found dead on the night of the prom. A friend interviewed shortly after the fact said that before the young man had said: “It’s a gloomy sunday, I’ll do it tonight.”
In any case, the infamous reputation did not discourage the success of the song and an increasing number of artists became interested in the case, so that from 1940 onwards Gloomy Sunday is included in the repertoire of the biggest names in music. What is certain is that from Billie Holiday on, the widespread version is no longer the cursed” lyrics composed by Seress but it has a sweetened” text. 
As for the suicides, some people think it was a “coincidence”, other people think it might be a copycat suicide phenomenon known as the “Werther Effect” following Goethe‘s novel The Sorrow of Young Werther ( Die Leiden des jungen Werthers). In the novel, Werther shoots himself with a pistol after he is rejected by the woman he loves, and shortly after its publication there were many reports of young men using the same method to kill themselves in an act of hopelessness, hence the name Werther effect.
However, the same Seress fell victim of his song, never gone to the US to collect the money of the copyright of his worldwide hit, he spent his life in poverty and depression, throwing himself from the window of his apartment in Budapest in 1968.
 Elle. x

Tainted Love.

Appearance can be deceptive and truth is that the “lovely” couple you see in the picture above is one of the most famous (and cruel) couples of serial killers never existed. Fred West and his wife Rosemary during two decades were responsible for the deaths of at least 12 people, some of the victims were directly related to them.

Frederick “Fred” West was born in the small town of Much Markle in Herefordshire. He was the second of the six children of Walter Stephen West and Daisy Hannah Hill. By Fred’s own account, sexual abuse of various kinds were common in the household; he claimed his father had sexual relationships with his daughters and taught him other disgusting stuff. It has also been suspected that Fred’s mother started sexually abusing him when he was twelve, though he never admitted to it and it has never been confirmed, like the stories about his father. Fred left school at the age of 15 even though he was almost illiterate and got a job as a farm hand. At the age of 17, he was in a motorcycle accident that put him in a coma for a week, led to him having a metal plate operated into his head and breaking one of his legs so badly it was permanently shorter than the other, afterwards he got a bad temper and often had violent bursts of anger.

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Lobotomies for everyone.

I guess we’ve all already heard a few stories about mad doctors conducting lobotomies in some old asylums. What I wonder is: were the lobotomies really effective?

Lobotomy is a neurosurgical operation that involves severing connections in the brain’s prefrontal lobe and has always been a controversial procedure, but was widely performed for more than two decades as treatment for schizophrenia, manic depression and bipolar disorder – among other mental illnesses. Today, the lobotomy is seen as an embarrassing failure of recent psychiatry, but during the early 1940s and into the 1950s it was a very respected procedure. It was first developed by Egas Moniz, a Portuguese doctor who used it to treat schizophrenia and found patients were more manageable afterward and believe it or not, in 1949 Moniz actually won a Nobel Prize for his invention of the procedure. Over time, another doctor named Walter Freeman developed it into the quick, behind-the-eyeballs method that we know today, called transorbital lobotomy.

Freeman first performed his transorbital lobotomy on Ellen Ionesco in 1946. She was described as “violently suicidal” by Angelene Forester, her daughter. After Ionesco’s lobotomy, Forester says that “it was just peace. It was like turning a coin over. That quick. So whatever he did, he did something right”. Not all patients were so happy with life after their lobotomies. Howard Dully was lobotomized by Freeman as a 12-year-old boy in 1960. He wasn’t mentally ill, his stepmother wanted to change his personality, which she described as disobedient. After the operation he stated: “the surgery damaged me in many ways. But it didn’t ‘fix’ me, or turn me into a robot. So my family put me into an institution” where he lived for 10 years.

One of Freeman’s most famous failures was on the sister of the president J.F. Kennedy.  In 1941, Rosemary Kennedy, described as a shy and easygoing child, but in her teenage years, she became rebellious and moody, was lobotomized at the age of 23. At the time, Freeman had only performed about 60 lobotomies and hadn’t yet created his transorbital technique, so he performed a prefrontal lobotomy. The operation did make Rosemary more manageable, because she was essentially left with the mental capacity of an infant, she couldn’t speak intelligibly or control some bodily functions so she was left into an institution where she spent the rest of her life.

The lobotomy in many cases either turned people into a vegetable or simply made them more docile, passive, and easy to control, often much less intelligent as well. Many of the doctors took this as being “good sign” because they didn’t know how else to treat severely mentally ill patients. Freeman would often complete the procedure in only 10 minutes, which seems a lot like an inadequate amount of time to perform something as delicate as brain surgery – he once performed 25 lobotomies in a single day. Freeman really wanted to use it on anyone who wanted one or wanted their family member to get one. He would give people lobotomies for migraines, depression, postpartum depression, behavioral problems, mild retardation, or really anything that he fancied would get him a chance to stick an ice pick in someone’s brain, there was even a time when the lobotomy was considered a cure for homosexuality.

We have always lived in a very weird world, allowing doctors “playing” with brains of people who were suffering and asking for help – “Calling it lunacy makes it easier to explain away the things we don’t understand.”


The Dybbuk Box

We’re still in the “haunted” field. I’ve noticed, with big surprise, a lot of views to one of my recent posts Haunted Paintings so I guess you might be interested in this kind of topic.

Probably you have already heard of the Dybbuk Box, a small wine cabinet believed to be haunted by a malevolent spirit. Back in the spotlight thanks to the movie The Possession (2012) produced by Sam Raimi, its history is inextricably linked to that of Havela, an old woman of Jewish origin who bought this haunted box in Spain.

Now, you might wonder, what’s a Dybbuk? A Dybbuk is a supernatural being linked to the Jewish tradition. The soul of a deceased who committed the most awful things during his/her life not to be worthy to enter the realm of the afterlife.

During September of 2001, Kevin Mannis attended an estate sale in Portland Oregon. The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103. A grand-daughter of the woman told Kevin that her grandmother had been born in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until she was sent to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents, brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the war, he then was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed in Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer trunk, and a sewing box. Mannis offered to give the box back to the family but the granddaughter insisted that he take it away. “We don’t want it.” She said. She told him the box had been kept in her grandmother’s sewing room and was never opened because a dybbuk was said to live inside it.

Upon opening the box, Mannis wrote that he found that it contained two 1920s pennies, two lock of hair, a small piece of granite engraved with the Hebrew word “Shalom”, a small golden wine goblet, one dried rose bud and a candlestick with octopus legs. Kevin started to experience a series of horrific nightmares shared with other people while they were in possession of the box or when they stayed at his home while he had it. The box was a birthday gift for his mother who then suffered a stroke on the same day he gave her the box.

After these unfortunate events Kevin decided to put the box on eBay –here– you can see the original ad and everything he wrote about, all the story and all the spooky and chilling details. Iosif Neitzke was the “lucky” winner of the auction and as soon as he received the item, of course, he started to be the victim of some eerie events as well, claiming that the box caused lights to burn out in his house and hair loss. Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri followed Neitzke’s blogs regarding the box and when he was ready to get rid of the box Neitzke sold it to Haxton

This is the book Jason Haxton wrote and stated that he subsequently developed serious health problems. Haxton consulted with Rabbis (Jewish religious leaders) to try to figure out a way to seal the dybbuk in the box again. Apparently successful, he took the freshly resealed box and hid it at a secret location, which he will not reveal.

This story is one of those head-scratching enigmas in the paranormal community and makes us wonder – are curses real? Can spirits get attached to inanimate objects (As we’ve seen –here-)? We can’t really find an answer to these questions but the only thing we know (if you believe) is that there is something, a more subtle line that divides our world from the afterlife. You better watch your back, you’ll never know what you might see.

Elle. x

Get the Weirdo Look! (Cool Stuff for Weirdos #3)

Though I don’t generally write about fashion and related topics, I went a bit (weird) shopping-crazy lately and wanted to show you my latest purchases that I highly adore!

12032107_10207287623459482_5630764572748211216_nI never planned on buying stuff from Aliexpress, though I knew it is a good site, just the thought that it could take up to more than a month to receive the purchase gave me the nerves. But then something happened, I’ve seen that beautimous tank top you see in the picture above, anything related to body-bizareness has to be MINE, so completely fell in love with it and bought it the second I saw it (it was only $6.17. BARGAIN!), then in the same store I found the Addams Family sweatshirt and as I love the movies and the series I got that too (another bargain, it was only $12).

The sweatshirt is pretty easy to style. It goes amazingly well with a skinny black jeans and a pair of CREEPERS

As for the tank top I like to style it in a more goth-grungy look, hear me well: Black cardigan, black tight skirt, tights (of course) and as for the shoes you really can’t go wrong with a pair of Dr. Martens or a pair of chunky heeled Chelsea Boots. Of course how can you forget about the make up? With a look like this I often use a pearlescent baked eyeshadow and go BIG on the lips with a dark berry lipstick, which is usually Hang Up by MAC (which is also the only MAC lipstick I own).

If you’re interested you can find the tank top –here-, gutted to say that the sweatshirt is sold out.

I hope you won’t mind this kind of post from time to time. I just love to give some advices if you are looking for cool and different/unique stuff to buy.

P.S.: I haven’t received these clothes for free so what you read in this post is my genuine opinion.

Elle. xx

Unsolved Mystery #3: Dyatlov Pass Incident

I was writing about another topic but then stumbled upon this unsolved mystery story: the Dyatlov Pass Incident, a strange event that happened over 50 years ago on a remote mountain ridge in the center of Russia. I found it so interesting and mysterious than I couldn’t stop myself to write about it.

On January the 25th, 1959, ten skiers set off from the town of Sverdlovsk, in the eastern Urals, for an excursion on the northern peaks: in particular were headed to the mountain called Otorten. For the group, led by the 23-years-old hiker Igor Dyatlov, the trip was meant to be a strict training for future expeditions in the Arctic, they were all skilled and experts skiers and the fact that in that season the path chosen was particularly insidious did not frightened them.

Arrived by train to Ivdel, they went with a van in Vizhai, the last inhabited outpost. From there they started their march directed to the mountain on January the 27th. The next day, however, one of the members fell ill and was forced to turn back: his name was Yuri Yudin, the only one who survived. The rest of the group went on and on January the 31st they reached one step on the eastern side of the mountain called Kholat Syakhl, which in the dialect of the Mansi people means “Mountain of the Dead“, a symbolic peak for the people and centre of many legends. The next day they decided to keep climbing, but a snowstorm reduced the visibility and made them lose orientation, instead of going towards the pass the group deviated and they found themselves right at the top of the mountain. Once they realized the mistake, the nine mountaineers decided to pitch the tents where they were, and wait until the next day.

We know all this through the diaries and the cameras found in the field, telling us about the expedition until this fateful day and showing us the last photographs of the group. But what happened that night is impossible to understand! The nine, in fact, never returned and after a waiting period the families alerted the authorities, and police and army began the researches. On Febraury the 26th the tent was found, but seriously damaged.

It was immediately clear that something unusual happened: the tent had been cut from the inside and footprints surrounding were to assume that the nine had fled in haste from their shelter, to save themselves from something that maybe was already in the tent with them, something so dangerous that there was no time to untie the knots and escape the tent from the main entrance

Following the traces, the researchers make the second strange discovery: nearby, less than a kilometer away, the first two bodies are found under an old pine tree on the edge of the forest, the two bodies are barefoot, and wearing only underwear. The branches of the pine are broken up to a height of four meters and a half and pieces of flesh are found in the bark. At different distances between the field and the pine are found three other bodies: their positions indicate that they were attempting to return to the field. One in particular is still holding a branch in his hand, and with the other arm seems to protect the head.

At first the doctors who examined the five bodies concluded that the cause of the death was the cold, there were no signs of violence and the fact that they were not dressed meant that hypothermia had occurred quite quickly. Two months later, in May, the last four bodies were discovered buried in the ice and suddenly the overall picture changed completely! These new bodies, unlike the first five, were fully dressed, one of them had his skull smashed, and two others showed major chest fractures. According to the doctor who performed the autopsies, the force needed to reduce the bodies in that way had to be exceptional, excluding that the injuries could have been caused by a human being.

The weird thing was that the bodies showed no external wounds or bruises or signs of any kind; impossible to understand what smashed the ribs inward. One of the dead girls had her head thrown back also, the doctors noticed that her tongue had been torn out from the root.

Now the main questions are: Who or what the climbers met? What terrified them so much?

There are several theories, some people swear to have seen strange lights flying over the mountain that night thinking about aliens, or top secret Russian military operations on experimental weapons and even the abominable snowman typical of the Urals, called Almas.

This is the last photo the took, could it be of any help?

The site of the dramatic events is now called Dyatlov Pass, in honor of the leader of the unfortunate group of skiers who tragically and mysteriously lost their lives there.

Elle. xx

Deep Web Horror Story

I have a very ordinary routine on the web. Once I check the usual stuff such as e-mails, Facebook, YouTube, listening to some music on Spotify, see the dress I want to buy but I can’t as I’m quite broke at the moment, watching a couple of movies, then I’m perfectly done. But if you dig deep in the web you might find a horrific and dreadful place, full of terrible stories, experiments, drugs, weapons and some other kind of illegal things.

Of course you won’t find these kind of sites through your browser, you need to install a different one, but this is not a guide, so won’t tell you anything about it. Honestly, I really wanted to install it on my laptop as I WAS very curious, just call it ‘morbid curiosity’, but once I started to read some stories… well, HELL NO I’m going to have this stuff on my computer, hence I completely changed my mind. I’ve got to say that I don’t know for sure if these stories are 100% real or if we have to take them as a kind of  “creepypasta”, some people say that the “deep web” is innocuous and they use it just for silly purposes; but there’s a long list of stories and experiences other people have told.

The most “common” kind of story is about a video-feed with a chat log beside it with a BitCoin button and a start-clock countdown. People can chat in the room until the start-clock runs down, and then only the highest-bidder is visible in the chat room while everyone else must pay a certain Bitcoin amount to remain in the Chatlog to watch. The video is usually of a person or animal waiting and the one who bid the highest amount can order whatever he/she wants, which is usually something not very nice. It sounds a lot like a virtual “Hostel”, if you have ever seen that movie you know what I mean, you pay and you can do whatever you want (which it sounds a lot like modern society works). Other experiences are about people trying to buy drugs and became burglary victims – other just started to chat with random strangers and these strangers are generally professional hackers who then start to write all these people details, name, address, phone number and then turn your webcam on and start to see you and telling things.

This is not like anything I’ve ever written before, but I found this topic highly disturbing more than anything I’ve ever encoutered (or studied – forensic science) so far. How can you explain the “need” to pay a certain amount of money so you can decide about other human beings life? Honestly, the most “scary” part is that this is a well known “world” (even though I recently knew about it, good morning Elle!) but difficult to manage as all the contents are not indexed by standard search engines.

Human mind is scarier than a huge haunted mansion and if only the 1% of these hundreds of stories is real well, we need to be worried.

P.S. I do not recommend to install this thing on your laptop even if these stories could be fake… Why taking the risk?

P.P.S. Remember that The Weirdo is on Facebook, for a safe and quirky pleasure!

Elle. x

Make me beautiful…

(Yes, the title is a pure reference to Nip/Tuck’s theme).

What is beauty? Is it a state of mind? Or is it something purely superficial? Some people try to achieve the aestethic perfection through diets, expensive treatments and plastic surgery. Trying to reach “perfection” is not just a modern thing as during some more old times people tried everything, even the oddest beauty devices to look beautiful and charming.

The face has its distinctive features and a lovely pair of dimples could make a big difference in your look. In 1936 Isabella Gilbert invented the Dimple Machine – consisted of a “face-fitting spring carrying two tiny knobs which press into the cheeks”. Unfortunately, it seems that the pain caused by the springs was too intense even for the most fanatical aspiring fashion models.

You have a beautiful face… but your nose? If you didn’t like your nose and didn’t want to resort to a painful and expensive rhinoplasty, during the 20s there was a “fashionable” nose-shaper. The Trados Nose-Shaper was pretty popular, invented by face specialist Mr. M. Trilety offering a quick and permanent nose correction solution.

Diet has always been a big pain for everyone who wanted to look slimmer and healthier – The Wilsonia Magnetic Corset could come in handy as claimed by manufacturers Thomson, Langdon & Co., which advertised this device as both a remedy for indigestion, paralysis and nervousness and the key to a teensy tiny waist.

Sensitive skin? Here we have a couple of gadgets for you: sunglasses with nose-protector and a freckleproof cape straight from the 40s. LOOKING GOOD!!


So, as you can see from these old ads the “obsession” with the physical appearence is not a brand new trend; moreover, research and enhancement of the aesthetic beauty are among the most ancient features of the Western civilization. Of course, today, we live in a world with endless options for altering our appearance, you can have professionals help you tan, wax, and buff your skin. You can get your hair chemically treated and then style it, as predicted in 1985’s comedy film “Brazil,” plastic surgery is widespread and accepted now. Not that it is always a good thing!

“Beauty is a curse on the world. It keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are.”

Haunted Paintings.

There’s nothing that I love more than art and weird historical facts, so today I’m going to write about some paintings that are believed to be, somehow, cursed and that have some pretty “bizarre” background. Most of these paintings are very famous even because they were owned by actors or other Very Important People. This is going to be a long post, so sit tight, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

The Hands Resist Him” (Bill Stoneham, 1972) is known as the haunted eBay painting. It depicts a young boy and a female doll standing in front of a glass door against which many hands are pressed. According to the artist, the boy is based on a photograph of himself at age five, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the waking world and the world of fantasy and impossibilities, while the doll is a guide that will escort the boy through it.

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