Sister Smile is Dead: The Singing Nun’s Double-Suicide

April 29, 2016 rehadlock 0

    Jeanne-Paule “Jeanine” Marie Deckers, famously known as ‘The Singing Nun’, was born in Belgium on October 17, 1933. Her parents owned a bakery in Brussels and hoped Jeanine would one day take over the family business. Instead, she enrolled in art school in Paris which she attended only briefly; After a nervous breakdown prompted by a failed engagement, Jeanine dropped out of school and joined the Dominican Fichermont Convent near Waterloo in 1959 at the age of twenty-six. There, she made a vow of poverty and took the name ‘Sister Luc-Gabrielle’. For the first time Jeanine Deckers, who had had a self-described […]

Pray the Decay Away: Incorruptible Corpses and Other Forms of Natural Postmortem Preservation

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 21

Ancient Egypt is widely recognized for their advanced process of “mummification” which successfully prevented natural decomposition. These purposefully preserved “anthropogenic mummies” have been found in various ancient civilizations throughout the world and were created by exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, extremely low humidity and/or lack of air. Spontaneous Mummification/natural embalming can occur under the same conditions. The oldest known natural mummification was observed in a 6,000 year old severed head discovered in South America in 1934 which was found to be of the Incan Civilization. Most people are familiar with the image of a “normal”, dried up mummy, a body which did not go through the process of Putrefaction due to dehydration of the corpse; However, there are […]

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The Death Zone

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 8

 Climbing the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is on the bucket list of countless adventurous individuals. Part of The Himalayas, Mount Everest’s peak towers at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level and marks the border between the countries of Nepal, to the south, and Tibet to the north. In Nepal, Everest is known as “Sagarmatha” and in Tibet call the mountain “Chomolungma”. The cost of climbing Mount Everest is $25,000 – $60,000 (16,660 – 39,700 pounds) but ultimately, some pay with their lives.   In recent years, Mount Everest has become notorious for an area known as “The Death Zone” which is the final resting place for over 200 climbers who lost their lives during their attempt […]

Life Before Death: Overcoming the Fear of Death Through Postmortem Photography

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 15

 German photographer Walter Schels and journalist Beate Lakotta set out to dispell their shared fear of death by photographing terminally ill people perimortem and postmortem in the series “Life Before Death”. Beate Lakotta and Walter Schel have been married for over twenty years; Schel is 30 years her senior. The two are well-aware Schels will most likely die long before Lakotta, an event which they both fear. Walter Schels grew up near Munich, Germany during the final years of World War II; His own home was bombed as a child and he saw many victims of the air raids. He […]

THE WALKING DEAD: Indonesia

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 8

    In villages occupied by the Toraja people located in the mountains of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Shamans have been raising the dead for centuries. While we might refer to the Indonesian walking dead as “zombies”, they are known by the Toraja people as “Rolang”, or “the corpse who stands up”. The only major difference between the Western world’s idea of a traditional zombie and the Indonesian version is that many people have witnessed the Rolang and luckily, they do not crave human flesh. According to the religious beliefs of the Toraja people, in order for a deceased person to reach the afterlife known as “Puya” or […]

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Longest Epitaph in America

February 25, 2015 rehadlock 0

The longest epitaph in the United States (and possibly the world) can be found at ‘Burial Place Hill’, a historical cemetery in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Written by Simeon Martin, the epitaph contains 407 words laying out in great detail his family tree, childhood, employment history and notable accomplishments, along with some of his favorite scripture and poetry. In fact, the only thing Martin left out was any mention of how incredibly long-winded he was in life and even in death. This would usually be the time I would provide a little background into the life of Simeon Martin, but there’s nothing that I […]

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Scientists Have Answered the Question: If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound?

February 16, 2015 rehadlock 0

For as long as humans have existed on the Earth, death has been mankind’s most wide-spread fear and it comes from a complete lack of understanding. The only thing we know for certain is that one day it will happen to everyone, despite anything we do to avoid it. Logic says otherwise, but some little piece of you wonders if you might retain some level of consciousness while your body undergoes an autopsy, is buried or cremated. No one is guaranteed a long life and peaceful death, even then there’s no assurance it won’t be painful. What if ghosts exist and you […]