A Collection of Curiosities – Part IV

I might be late to the party, but I suspect that’s the fashionable way to handle these things. I like scheduling these “wunderkammer of the web” type posts for the 27th or the 28th of the month, so technically I’m a day off.

What this is: I’ve always had a longstanding fascination with the occult, the subversive, and the alternative: give me a good ghost story or chunk of folklore, and I’m off and running. My mind likes to live in the weird, and accordingly, it’s often where I gather inspiration from.

Anyway, I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, but in the process of my busy couple of weeks, I managed to reorganize my RSS reader, and in the process discover a bunch of sites to feed my bizarre side. Some of these are now informing the content of the Curiosities posts, among them: Dirge, Bleaq, Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog, Haunted Ohio Books, Strange Company, Two Nerdy History Girls, and The Anomalist. My existing “collection” of sources was already pretty solid, but I’m not going to complain about further inbound inspiration.

It may only be Tuesday, but this week is already shaping up to be pretty hairy, with another Short Fictions & Curiosities story slated for release by the end of the week, and freelancing, and general adulting like picking up stuff from the post office, and purging all the old crap I don’t need anymore from my apartment in preparation for my June move.

Suffice to say, I am eeking this post out. It even squeaks a bit in distress.

Moody, nature inspired illustrations by Jana Heidersdorf


“Jana Heidersdorf is an illustrator living and working in Dortmund, Germany. Jana is fascinated by nature and fairytales, two big influences in her work. Her drawings, a combination of traditional and digital media, are moody, feral and dark and show fantastic creatures you might encounter during a stroll in a deep forest at night. I love the natural feel and color palette in Jana’s work, a perfect for for the upcoming grey autumn days.”

Moody, nature inspired illustrations by Jana Heidersdorf – Bleaq

This Bizarre Diorama Will Entertain You For Hours

1“American artist Mark Ryden is the creative force behind this spectacular diorama which he’s named ‘Memory Lane‘. Insert a penny and the entire scene magically spring into life. First the 1890s hit song ‘Daisy Bell’ begins to play whilst all manner of quirky characters suddenly become animated, shuffling and moving around the busy street scene.”

This Bizarre & Fascinating Diorama Will Entertain You For Hours

Mortuary Professions for Ladies: 1889-1910

Josephine Smith, age 84, digging a grave at Drouin Cemetery, Victoria, c.

“There is a quiet young woman in a quiet, unobtrusive gown who has become quite a familiar figure at funerals. She is well known to the undertakers, at least. She always sits in the background with notebook and pencil, and her nimble fingers jot down verbatim the addresses and prayers that are uttered at the coffin’s side.”

Mortuary Professions for Ladies: 1889-1910

The Passing of J. Sheridan Le Fanu

sheridanlafanu“I write a line to tell you of our terrible loss. My darling father died on Friday morning [7 February] at 6 o’Clock. He had almost got over a bad attack of Bronchitis but his strength gave way & he sank very quickly & died in his sleep. His face looks so happy with a beautiful smile on it. We were quite unprepared for the end.”

The Passing of J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Police issued guidelines on how to behave while trapped in a wicker man

wicker-man-2006-burning-of-the-wicker-man-ending“A Police Federation spokesman said: “During stressful situations there is a tendency to use hurtful or insensitive language, especially if you’re trapped in a massive, highly flammable corn dolly while an entire village gambols around it with lit branches singing folk songs about ‘ye offerings’.”

Police issued guidelines on how to behave while trapped in a wicker man


Want more? Check out the other wunderkammer-themed posts:

A Collection of Curiosities – Part I:

“I’ve heard a few times that it’s unwise to look at a writer’s search history. It gives the uninitiated the impression that you are either deranged, morbid, or psychotic. While this may very well be a possibility in certain cases, I can assure you that I purge that cache regularly. Try and catch me, coppers. Moo hoo ha ha.”

A Collection of Curiosities – Victorian Edition

“I was half in love with Victorian England before I began writing Wake the Dead ages ago. It’s a particularly macabre period in history, largely due to the fact that the entire country was thrust into mourning following the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert. It marks a period in history that is attributed with heightened ritualized action surrounding death, commemoration, and grieving that is so intense that it’s frequently referred to as a cult of death.”

A Collection of Curiosities – Part III

“Stuff! Being the third collection of curiosities, oddities, and wonders discovered online — I’ve got some new stuff for you. I tend to aggregate a bunch of weird and wonderful saved links as I’m researching and I often have nowhere to put them beyond my bookmarks, where they’re eventually forgotten. I figured some time ago that it might be best if I put them to use, sharing the interesting and bizarre stuff I come across from my collection of writing inspiration.”


Until next time: stay weird!

Showing 3 comments
  • @notebookghosts

    I love returning to this series. A Collection of Curiosities – Part IV https://t.co/BspoDGYgVT

  • Angie G

    I would love to know what all is in your feed or inspiration bookmarks. The ones you’ve shared so far are fantastic for getting the imagination churning!

    • Kira Butler

      I’ve been trying to figure out how to extract them for the better part of the week. Still no success beyond copy/pasting, and that seems like a real pain.

      The investigation continues.

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Writing Inspiration: Saint Louis Cemetery OneA Collection of Curiosities: Part V
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