The Green Man – Charlie No Face

While sometimes urban legends are based on nothing but complete fiction, occasionally there is a kernel of truth to the stories, albeit with more fantastical details added over the years. This is one of the latter. You see, the legend of the Green Man, also known as “Charlie No Face,” is based on a real person who suffered a horrific accident as a child.

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In the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, children are often told the tale of a monstrous creature, a faceless man that wanders the streets at night, stalking the roads, looking for prey.  They call him the “Green Man” or “Charlie No Face”.  “If you go out after dark, Charlie No Face may grab you.”  “If you stay out too late,  you may run across the Green Man who will steal your face to place over the gaping hole where his  face once was.”  “He roams the hollow late at night and chases the parkers and the loafers away.” It’s a right of passage in the area – young people frighten themselves and others with stories of the Green Man or Charlie No Face. The legend says that Charlie No Face was a utility worker who was killed by a downed power line that burnt off his face and tinged his skin green.  In another version of the tale, Charlie No Face was struck by lightning, failed to die, and crept into an old abandoned house where he lived out the rest of his days venturing out only at night to terrorize residents of the area.

Raymond Robinson was born on October 29, 1910 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  On June 18, 1919, when he was eight years old, Raymond was heading to a local swimming hole with some friends when he stopped to climb up the Morado Bridge, which spans Wallace Run outside of Beaver Falls, to see if a bird’s nest located high on a girder contained any birds or eggs.  It was understood that the bridge, which has since been torn down and replaced, supported an electric trolley cable carrying 22,000 volts of electricity (some say 1,200 volts – there were multiple trolley cables laid across the bridge).  It was also known that another child, Robert Littell, had died after touching the dangerous cable a year earlier. Because of this, the other boys were afraid to climb the girders of the bridge.  But not little Raymond.  As Raymond climbed the bridge trestle, he slipped and fell, touching his face and upper body on the trolley cable as he tumbled to the ground.  The electrical shock he sustained produced a powerful explosion and little Raymond was gravely injured. Raymond was expected to die from his injures but somehow, Raymond survived.  Unfortunately, his face looked “as if it had been melted with a blow torch”. His eyes were gone. His nose was gone. His lips and ears were terribly disfigured. His left arm was burned off at the elbow and his upper torso was badly scarred. As a result, Robinson spent considerable time in Pittsburgh hospitals after the accident but numerous surgeries, which basically amounted to sewing flaps of skin across the gaping holes where his eyes and nose had been located, did little to improve his appearance.

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The legend of the “Green Man” began circulating around the 1950s when drivers spotted Ray during his walks along the side of the road. Locals believe the name “Green Man” originated from the green shirts Ray reportedly occasionally wore out on his walks. However, it should be noted that locals more commonly called him “Charlie No Face.”

Ray’s nighttime walks became fewer and far between as he aged. Then they stopped completely in the 1980s when he moved into the Beaver County Geriatric Center. He died there of natural causes at the age of 74, on June 11, 1985.

Elle. x

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Tomino’s Hell

WordPress reminds me that it’s been a month since my latest post was published, which is a very long time. I’m very sorry about it but I guess we all have to deal with the fact that I’m the worst blogger in the blogosphere. I swear that even if I’m not posting a lot lately, I’m still working for you and you will see the final result pretty soon (and I’m sooo excited about it!). Now, enough with this chit-chat and let’s get on with this new post!

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Tomino’s Hell (Tomino no Jigoku – トミノの地獄 ) is an ancient Japanese poem written by Yomota Inuhiko in a book called “The Heart is Like a Rolling Stone” and even before, included by Saijo Yaso in his 27th collection of poems in 1919.

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Hope Diamond

Are diamonds a girl’s best friend? Maybe, maybe not if the diamond we are talking about is the Hope Diamond – a forty-five carat blue diamond that for more than a century supposedly bore a curse that brought death and misfortune to the people who owned it.

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Coming from the Golkonda mines in India, it was bought by the French merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. According to some Jean-Baptiste removed the diamond from the eye of a Hindu statue sparking the wrath of the gods, who cursed the stone and all those who owned it. Immediately after Tavernier went bankrupt and tried to rebuild his fortune starting from India, but never reached his destination because he died during the trip.

King Louis XIV bought the stone from Tavernier and had it recut in 1673. It was then known as “The Blue Diamond of the Crown” or the “French Blue”. King Louis died of gangrene and all of his legitimate children died in childhood, except for one. Nicholas Fouquet who worked for King Louis XIV, is said to have worn the diamond for some special occasion. Shortly thereafter, he fell out of favor with the king and was banished from France. The Louis changed this sentence to life imprisonment, so Fouquet spent 15 years in the fortress of Pignerol.

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The diamond was then donated to Marie Antoinette and… well, we all know what happened to her and her husband Louis XVIbeheaded during the French Revolution. Eventually the diamond was stolen along with other jewels and precious objects. It then passed into the hands of a jeweler who died of a heart attack as soon as the stone was stolen (according to other sources he died when he discovered that the thief was none other than his son). The son of the jeweler, the alleged perpetrator of the theft,  when he knew he was the cause of his father’s death committed suicide. His friend, who had found the diamond among the property left unattended, died after a short time. 

The gemstone quickly passed from hand to hand and reached London, the English nobleman Lord Francis Hope, VIII Duke of Newcastle, paid an exorbitant amount of money for the gem andbaptize” it with his name, but – if you want to give credit to the supposed curse did he regret it, almost immediately after having received the stone the relationship with his wife gone bad and the pair split up. The woman, Mary Yohe, an American actress and singer of musicals, fell into poverty, while the Lord Francis Hope hastened to get rid of the diamond.

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Evalyn Walsh McLean was a spoiled heiress who lived a charmed life… until she bought the diamond. She happily wore the diamond and there are stories that she would even affix the jewel to her dog’s collar and let him wander around the apartment with it. But wearing the Hope Diamond came at a steep price: first her mother-in-law died, her son died at the age of nine, her husband left her for another woman and later died in a mental hospital, her daughter died of a drug overdose at 25 and she eventually had to sell her newspaper ““ the Washington Post – and died owing huge debts. Evalyn’s surviving kids sold the diamond to Harry Winston. Nine years later, Winston mailed the gem to the Smithsonian for $2.44 in postage and $155 in insurance. The mailman who delivered the diamond to the Smithsonian, apparently had his leg crushed in a truck accident shortly thereafter. He also suffered a head injury in a separate accident.

The Hope Diamond is preserved at the Smithsonian Museum, kept on public display in a glass case. Today the sky-blue gem is worth a quarter of a billion dollars.

I wonder if even writing about the diamond can make you fall under the umbrella of the curse?

I HOPE you’ll be hearing from me again…

Elle. xx

Creepy tales

Giambattista Basile‘s tales feature dismemberments, rapes and killings. Far from being the magical, Disney-style fairy tales we imagine, his works inspired a stunning movie that I recently watched called “The Tale of Tales” (Il Racconto dei Racconti), directed by Matteo Garrone.

I remember as a kid to be an avid reader of fairytales, especially the ones by the Grimm brothers, but of course most of the books I used to own back then were a lot “sugarcoated” because the original versions of the most famous fairy-tales we know are NOT very suitable for children. I’m pretty sure that there’s a sort of moral at the end and scarying the hell out of kids might work to make them understand the “message”.

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Let’s start with The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen), Ariel and her lovely friends having fun underwater (okay, it does sound wrong!). Well, in the original version the little mermaid doesn’t even have a name nor a soul and this is the lesser evil. She falls in love with a charming prince from the human world so she goes to Ursula the Sea Witch so that she can turn her into a human, not only is she voiceless, every step on her feet causes her agony; the sea-witch describes it as “walking on knives.” All this for the prince she loves, who at the end marries another girl. As the little mermaid contemplates dying, her sisters pop out of the water, having traded their hair with the witch for a magical knife so that she can kill the prince but the mermaid throws the knife away and prepares to meet her fate. Her body dissolves into foam, but instead of ceasing to exist she’s rescued by the “daughters of the air,” who tell her that she’s now one of them and that, if she flies around the world doing good deeds for 300 years, she might get a soul after all. What a deal?!

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Now it’s time for Sleeping Beauty, the original version would have terrified even Maleficent! Consider some of the plot devices found in the original story of “Sleeping Beauty” in the days of our distant past: adultery, bigamy, murder, the rape of a comatose woman and even human cannibalism. The young woman is put to sleep because of a prophesy, rather than a curse. And it isn’t the kiss of a prince which wakes her up: the king seeing her asleep decides to rape her. After nine months she gives birth to two children (while she is still asleep). One of the children sucks her finger which removes the piece of flax that was keeping her asleep. She wakes up to find herself raped and the mother of two kids. The king comes back, and despite him having raped her, they end up falling in love. However, another big problem: the king is still married to someone else. His wife finds out and not only tries to have the twins killed, cooked, and fed to the king, but also tries to burn the princess at the stake. Luckily, she is unsuccessful. The king and the princess get married and live happily ever after (despite the fact that he raped her).

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In Charles Perrault’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, included in his 1697 collection Stories or Fairy Tales from Past Times: Tales of Mother Goose, there is no intrepid huntsman. Little Red simply strips naked, gets in bed, and then dies, eaten up by the big bad wolf, with no miraculous relief. In another version, she eats her own grandmother first, her flesh cooked up and her blood poured into a wine glass by our wolfish friend and another version has it that the young girl has sex with the wolf, who was a some sort of a werewolf.

Sometimes I wonder how different would Disneyland be if they stuck to the original endings, I’m pretty sure it would only be a place for some adults fun!

Elle. x

 

Haunted Dolls.

Here it is, as promised, a post completely dedicated to haunted dolls. So, if you suffer from pediophobia you may NOT enjoy this post (Sorry)!

A haunted doll is a handmade or manufactured doll or stuffed animal that is purported to be cursed or possessed in some way. The earliest report of a haunted doll goes back to Egypt where the enemies of Ramses III attempted to use wax images of his likeness to bring about his death.

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Happy Birthday The Weirdo!

(Yesterday) The Weirdo turned one! This first year has been an amazing, incredible, interesting and WEIRD journey!

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Through this blog I’ve got the opportunity to get to know other amazing people and found a lot of interesting blogs that inspire me on a daily basis. I’m also very thankful for all the readers, honestly when I see all the flags in the Statistics section it feels great and it makes me realize that I’m  not alone as a lot of people are interested in weird, creepy topics as well. *vitual hugs to you all*

I know I haven’t been posting a lot but life is getting a bit hectic lately, but I promise that I’ll be back SOON with lots of, well, weird posts! THANK YOU ALL!

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Elle. xx