How an obscure episode from 14th-century France inspired one of Poe’s most macabre tales.
Brazen heads were all-knowing mechanical devices supposedly endowed with the ability to answer any question and predict the future.
In the summer of 1816, as skies darkened across the world following a volcanic eruption, a group of Romantic writers gathered in a house on the shores of Lake Geneva and told one another ghost stories.
My “Spirits of Place” essay on the psychogeography of El Escorial is now available at The Daily Grail.
‘Spirits of Place’ is out now, featuring my essay on hellmouths and cursed Spanish royals.
Throughout history, people have tried to distinguish themselves from the common herd by turning to fashion and cosmetics, even when the results could be bizarre, harmful and even fatal, giving the expression “fashion victim” a literal meaning.
I’ve been there only once, fifteen or twenty years ago, but this Folklore Thursday made me feel like booking flights to the Czech Republic: The Czech Bogeyman — typo: it should be “bubak”. Apologies!– looks like an evil scarecrow, but can cry like a baby to lure his victims. The Bubach: evil scarecrow who drives a cart pulled by cats and weaves the souls of his victims. #FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/UYtu804gjv — Maria J Pérez Cuervo (@mjpcuervo) July 21, 2016 Tintin’s Ottokar — that of the sceptre– was supposed to be Ottokar IV of Syldavia, a fictional country I’d love to visit one day. The story of Ottokar II of Bohemia, however, could well be turned into a comic. King Ottokar II built Houska Castle over a hole in the ground thought to be a Gateway to Hell. #FolkloreThursday pic.twitter.com/OqdqN26tv7 — Maria J Pérez Cuervo (@mjpcuervo) July 21, 2016