Doctors who treated people with bubonic plague wore special outfits, including masks with long bird-like beaks. Today people are selling recreations of the masks online.

One of the scariest costumes of all time seems to be staging a comeback: the plague doctor. Plague doctors tended to victims of the Bubonic Plague, the abominable disease spread by fleas on rodents that killed roughly half of Europe during the 14th century and erupted again across parts of Europe during the 17th century. Read Full Article
In the popular and controversial Chinese television show, "Interviews Before Execution", reporter Ding Yu interviews prisoners shortly before they are to be executed.

One episode features a handcuffed man in khaki pants and an orange vest, flanked by two guards. The prisoner is condemned to die for murdering his ex-wife; he stabbed her then lit the house on fire. Seated in front of the prisoner is a well-dressed TV news reporter. Read Full Article

As far as we know, there is just one pair of intact necropants left on earth and they are locked behind glass at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik, Iceland. Read Full Article
During Hungry Ghost Festival, celebrated in China and several other Asian countries, ghosts leave heaven and hell to visit the living.

There is no Halloween in China, complained one recent traveler. But there is the Hungry Ghost Festival! Celebrated on the 15th night of the seventh month in the lunar calendar and sometimes referred to as the Chinese Halloween, this is the time of year when ghosts leave heaven and hell to visit the living. Read Full Article
In 1605, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators tried to assassinate King James I of England by exploding massive amounts of gunpowder in a cellar beneath Parliament. A mask modeled on Fawkes’ face is presently a best-seller online and used by social justice groups worldwide, including the hacker activist group, Anonymous.

The mask, a stylized white face with a gigantic smile, rosy red cheeks and a mischievous mustache, has been worn by protestors in Thailand, Egypt, the United States and Great Britain. The mask is so controversial that it is illegal in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The mask is presently the fifth best-selling mask on Amazon. Read Full Article
Charles Richet, who coined the word ectoplasm (seen coming out of this woman's ear), described it as spiritual energy that allowed mediums to connect with the spirit world.

If you react to bee stings or seafood then you ought to know a bit about Charles Robert Richet. In 1913 he won the Nobel Prize for his work on the occasionally lethal set of allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. But Richet, a French physiologist, had a number of other scientific interests, namely ghosts. Read Full Article
The ghosts of eunuchs and brides-in-waiting are said to haunt the halls of the Forbidden City, which for six centuries served as the Chinese imperial palace.

In 1949 the Nationalists fled the Communists and went to Taiwan. The wife of one high-ranking official, abandoned by her husband, hung herself from the rafters of their Baroque Beijing mansion, known as Chaonei No. 81. Read Full Article
In the mountainous Sagada region of the Philippines coffins are hung from cliffs. By suspending the coffin in this way it is thought to bring the deceased closer to heaven.

Hanging coffins, kitchen burials, blindfolded corpses, tree trunk burials and coffin hexes, oh my. Tourists flock to the Philippines for the beaches, the food and the cheap medical care but what about the death rituals? Take a peak… Read Full Article
Spirit Story Box is an app that lets you translate the language of ghosts into something understandable. Ghost hunters in the movie "The Conjuring" used a similar method.

The funeral industry is notably slow on the technology uptake but there are a few interesting funeral-related apps. Find those ashes you scattered long ago, talk to ghosts and tweet to your friends after you are dead... Read Full Article
Norman Vaughan has a mountain named after him in Antarctica and planned to climb it for his 100th birthday. Unfortunately, at his birthday party he drank champagne—the first alcohol he had ever had in his life—and died several days later.

Here’s a strange and tragic ending: A 107 year old man named Monroe Isadore was shot dead by SWAT officers at his home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Read Full Article
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