A Dismal Epitaph

While browsing findagrave.com earlier, I came across one of the gloomiest epitaphs I have ever seen. The headstone belongs to Henry Beck (1842-1899). Beck was born in Germany and died in the United States. He was buried in Mayville Cemetery (originally called the IOOF Cemetery) located in Mayville, Oregon. Here is the epitaph: Poorly born,Poorly lived;Poorly […]

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Gleanings From The Past #66

We Regret the Error An Irish editor, apologizing for a rather serious blunder in his paper, said: “I never saw the manuscript till it was in print.” — The St Louis Republic [St. Louis, Missouri], April 28, 19011  The Will of a Virtuoso I, NICHOLAS GIMCRACK, being in sound health of mind, but in great weakness […]

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A Tombstone Reference

In New Orleans’ Metairie Cemetery, there’s a tombstone with a strange inscription. It wasn’t a witty verse or even an inspirational quote. Instead, it only contained this odd line, “See Louisiana Reports, 1905, Page 39.” The tomb belongs to a lady who was lost at sea, but the Louisiana Supreme Court instructed her will executors […]

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Parting Words

Above is the tombstone of John Laird McCaffery (1940-1995) which is found in Montreal’s Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. There’s also an epitaph written there composed together by McCaffery’s wife and mistress: Free your body Unfold your powerful wings Climb up the highest mountains Kick your feet up in the air You may now live forever Or return to this […]

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Gleanings From The Past #23

Ingenuity of A Spider The following instance of ingenuity in a spider, which was witnessed by the writer of this article, will not be uninteresting: A web was observed to be tightly stretched across a garden path, about five feet in breadth, the reticulated portion occupying the centre, and one of the principal threads to […]

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A Palindromic Epitaph

In C. A. Dowson Scott’s Nooks and Corners of Cornwall (1912), Scott told of a curious epitaph located at St. Winwalloe’s churchyard, Gunwalloe, Cornwall: Shall we all die? We shall die all; All die shall we — Die all we shall. While the epitaph is pretty amusing due to its palindromic nature (and it can be read vertically […]

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Triskaidekaphobia And Friday The 13th And A Death Prediction, Oh My!

Today is Friday the 13th. Some people believe that unlucky things happen during this day while others find this belief absurd. But whether you believe in the unluckiness Friday the 13th or not, I hope that you are having a great day. The following story is related to the number 13 and Friday the 13th […]

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Gleanings From The Past #21

Strange Bird Mr. Zachariah Pearce, aged 21, died at Cranbrook, Kent, October 17, 1786. The following remarkable occurrences are related as matters of fact, which can be attested by many persons in Cranbrook. Mr. W. Pearce, the father of the above Zachariah, died of a frenzy fever, November 30, 1785. Some time before he died, […]

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Outliving His Obituary Writer

James Van Allen Not many people can say that they outlived their obituary writer. However, in the case of physicist James Van Allen (1914-2006), he outlived his obituary writer by ten years. In 1996, science reporter Walter Sullivan (1918-1996) was tasked by the Associated Press to write an obituary of Van Allen to be published once he […]

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Rumors Of Deaths In Almanacs

Malicious posts about the death of somebody who is still alive constantly appear on the web these days. However, this is not a new phenomenon. Years before the advent of the Internet, people have been using almanacs and periodicals as media for writing about death predictions or an alleged death of someone. Swift Hoax The astrologer […]

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