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Showing posts from June, 2016

Joe Mulhattan: America's Greatest Hoaxer

Joe Mulhattan. Today, the name probably doesn't ring many bells, but a century ago Joe Mulhattan was famous throughout America as the nation's greatest liar-- a title he cherished until the day he died. Yes, when it came to telling tall tales and pulling wool over the eyes of the public, no one could hold a candle to Joe Mulhattan. He could spin yarn better than an Amish grandma, and once convinced newspapers across the country that he discovered a mermaid living inside a Montana cave. One newspaper reporter of the era even went so far to write that "Mr. Mulhattan never told a lie that was not worthy of the highest talents". Old Joe Mulhattan. He was a true American original. And this is his story.

Mulhattan was born near Pittsburgh in 1853, the only child of a Presbyterian minister. A bright student, he graduated from high school with honors. He passed up college to take a job as a traveling salesman for a hardware company and, by all accounts, was very successful i…

The Petrified Babies of Mississippi's Greenwood Cemetery

In 1901, the groundskeeper of Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi made an astonishing discovery when he dug up the grave of a child who died half a century earlier. The following story appeared in the August 15, 1901 edition of the McKinney Democrat:

The sexton of Greenwood cemetery, Jackson, Miss., in taking up the body of a child buried fifty-three years ago noticed that the casket was heavier than is usual in such cases, and, curious as to the cause, removed the plate from over the glass. It was a startling revelation; the corpse was lifelike, natural and in a mummified state.

Physicians who examined it say that it is a most wonderful specimen of petrification, and an old lady who looked upon the child just before its burial, those many years ago, says it has not changed in features, and looks as natural now as then.

This brings to mind another case almost as remarkable which occurred at Lexington, Miss. A few years ago a burial ground of far ante-bellum times was being dug up…

Fun with Blasphemy: The Exciting World of Biblical Typos

Growing up, I was enamored with the hobby of collecting baseball cards. And when it came to collecting baseball cards, the ones I treasured most were the error cards. You know the ones I mean-- the ones with pitching stats of Doug Drabek on the back but a picture of Mark Gubicza on the front. Or a card that claims a player was born in the Dominican Republic when he was actually born in Anchorage, Alaska. And, of course, there's the "Holy Grail" of error cars-- the 1989 Fleer card of Billy Ripken, which originally featured a picture of Ripken holding a baseball bat with the expletive fuck face written on the knob of the bat. While Fleer eventually corrected this mistake, the original Billy Ripken fuck face cards because highly sought-after collector's items. I had three of them and was pleased as punch because, at the time, this rare error card was fetching about fifty bucks at sports card shops. "This must be what it feels like to be rich like Donald Trump,&quo…

Exclusive: Interview with Daniel Rumanos

One of the most rewarding aspects of running a website like Journal of the Bizarre is that you get to meet all sorts of interesting people. Since its not every day we get to pick the brain of a professional stage magician and paranormal debunker, we couldn't pass up the chance to speak with Rumanos the Conjurer, otherwise known as Daniel Rumanos.

Whether you know him as an illusionist, entertainer, author of "The Weird Adventures of Daniel Rumanos" occult mystery series, or as the president of the Dracula Society of Maryland, one thing is clear-- he's one of the most fascinating people we've ever had the pleasure of interviewing.

So now, without further ado, let's get inside the mind of the man described by Tim Weisberg (of SpookySouthcoast) as "The voice of the other side of the paranormal".

JOTB: If so many people didn't readily believe in the "unbelievable", the world would have no need for debunkers. Why, in your opinion, do so many …