The find of the skeleton of a “vampire child” in Umbria, in Central Italy, by archaeologists from the University of Arizona and Stanford University, made headlines in the past weeks. Most of the publicity around this discovery surely comes from the dark aura it spreads, but to an historian’s eyes
When I was a boy, I think it’s safe to say that I was very much like other boys when it came to the idea of monsters. Dracula, Godzilla, the Hulk, Goosebumps… These were the coolest things my impressionable eyes had ever seen at the time. I believe this enthusiasm
Hell seems to be a collective assault on the American imagination — the culmination of our entire post-Columbus cultural history and political infrastructure. Ask anyone familiar with it to describe the scene and you’ll likely get the same description across the board — a furnace of torture, suffering, demons and unfathomable pain. Hell is
In 1587, a book was published anonymously that retold the tales of great storied wizards such as Merlin and Albert Magnus, and attributed them to a man named Faust and his demon sidekick Mephistopheles. These stories were narrated humorously at Faust’s expense, but Mephistopheles was described in a more fiendish
Deep in the forests of northern Germany lays the highest peak of the Harz Mountains, Brocken. It is here that in pre-Christian times the locals would eat magic mushrooms, give sacrifices, and dance around bonfires on the eve of May, all for the purpose of bringing in a fertile spring.
As the Bubonic Plague rolled across China, the Middle East, Russia and Europe from the 14th to 17th centuries, it claimed an estimated 150 million lives, along with the title of deadliest epidemic in human history. Originating in China in the 1300s, it hitched a ride on the Silk Road