Monday, August 31, 2009

The creeps

Of these two old photographs, it is the one at the top that gives you the creeps, right? But by the end of this post, they both will...
1. The Parsons Family, murdered in Texas Co., Missouri, on October 12, 1906. Carney Parsons, his wife Minnie (nee Strange), and their 3 sons were killed by Jodie Hamilton, who worked and lived with them as sharecroppers. Minnie got pregnant and Carney sold their share to Hamilton to move closer to his wife's home. Parsons gave Hamilton a shotgun and $25 in exchange for a saddle on the day of the murder. Feeling he had been cheated, 20-year-old Hamilton ambushed the family at 2pm about 2 miles east of Success, Missouri. He shot Mr. Parsons in the leg with the shotgun, then bludgeoned him to death with its barrel. He hit the 2 older boys with the gun barrel, then cut their throats with their father's knife. Then he threw a blanket over Mrs. Parsons and killed her with an axe. Lastly, he beat the baby to death, after which he rifled Mr. Parson's pockets for the $25, a gold watch, and some spectacles. Hamilton hid the Parsons' wagon in the brush, then came back at midnight, hitched up, and drove it to the Piney River, into which he threw the bodies of all 5 of his victims. The bodies of 2 of the children were found by fishermen within an hour. Two days later, Hamilton was arrested, was nearly lynched, attempted suicide, and confessed to the murders. Jurors in his trial reached a verdict within an hour, and he was sentenced to be hanged. Hamilton took a great interest in his imminent execution and inspected the gallows. He was hanged with what was considered great composure at 11am on December 21, 1906, in Houston, Missouri. The attending crowd was afterward allowed to view his body, the rope was cut up and sold as souvenirs, and postcards were made of the hanging and the murdered Parsons family.
2. The ripped tent of the ill-fated 9-person ski and hiking party after what became known as the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959. On January 27th of that year, a group of ten experienced Russian hikers (8 men and 2 women) set out across the Ural Mountains by foot to reach a particular slope. One man turned back early on because of health issues, but the rest followed leader Igor Dyatlov. They stored food and provisions for the return journey in a valley, but never had the opportunity to use them. The group began their climb, but lost their way in the weather and deviated west, setting up camp on a mountain prophetically called Kholat Syakhl [Mountain of the Dead]. It was there that a search party found their tent, diaries, and cameras. The tent had been ripped open from the inside and the hikers had exited of their own accord, with no signs of a struggle and no other human footprints in the snow. Two of the hikers' bodies were found 1.5km away near the remains of a fire, dressed only in their underwear (which had high doses of radioactive contamination); three more were found apparently returning to the camp and the remaining four were located further away 4 months later. Six had died of hypothermia; one had major skull damage and two had major chest fractures (requiring extreme force, but showing no external signs). One of the women was missing her tongue. The hair of each of the bodies had turned gray and their skin had taken on an orange glow. The Soviets sealed the case files until 1990 and the mystery has still not been solved.
The catalysts for this post were two items that recently appeared in the weird news - both using the word "creepy." The first link was to a set of post-mortem photographs. I have collected such photos for years and have more than one of a deceased child in the parent's lap, but although I knew that eyes were sometimes painted on the closed lids to simulate life, I somehow missed the fact that stands were occasionally used to prop dead children and adults upright for photographs. The second link was to an account of some mysterious deaths that was written last year. And again, although I have subscribed to Fortean Times for 20 years, I had never heard of this case. When I searched for the right photo for the blog, I found this one that appears rather mundane unless you know the story. Hence, the comparison...and the conclusion that I would rather have the creeps than the vapors!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.