Tag Archives: Oddities

2001: Was the Silence Gloomy?

Gilbert Sorrentino’s 2001 novel Gold Fools is written entirely in questions. Here are the opening paragraphs: Were Nort Shannon, Dick Shannon, and Bud Merkel exceptionally morose as they sat before the small bunkhouse and about the flames of the blazing … Continue reading

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1780: The Dark Day

The 19th of May, 1780, was distinguished by the phenomenon of a remarkable darkness over all the northern States, and is still called the Dark day. The darkness commenced between the hours of 10 and 11 A. M., and continued … Continue reading

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1670: A Very Strange and Prodigious Wonder

A letter from John Winthrop, Jr. to Lord Brereton, October 11, 1670: Boston Oct. 11, 1670. My Lord: The relation which I am now presenting to your Lordship is of a very strange and prodigious wonder this last Summer in … Continue reading

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1635: A Kind of Speech They Could Not Understand

In 1635 at Brampton near Gainsborough an Ash Tree shook both in the Body and Boughs, and there proceeded from thence Sighs and Groans, like those of a Man troubled in his Sleep, as if he felt some sensible Torments. … Continue reading

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1864: Glory be to God

Georgiana Houghton: Glory be to God (1864) Georgiana Houghton was a Victorian spiritualist and medium whose many paintings include descriptions on the reverse detailing the various spirits and angels that influenced her in producing them. Houghton called these works “spirit … Continue reading

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1812: I Awoke in the Greatest Agitation

On May 11, 1812, John Bellingham, a disgruntled Liverpool merchant, assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in the lobby of the House of Commons in London. In his autobiography, the civil engineer Sir John Rennie (whose company built the London … Continue reading

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1666: Too Stars Fighting

In the same moneth [September, 1666] was seen a strange prodigy near us, Grace Butler my near neighbour that saw it told me of it, togather with several of James Brookesbankes family, it was too stars fighting, they struck violently … Continue reading

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