Morbid Fact Du Jour for September 12, 2016

Today’s Schlepped Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

As promised, here’s part two of the story of genius violinist and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome victim Niccolò Paganini. (Read Part One here.)

Paganini’s afterlife was no less doomed than his life. On his deathbed in Nice, he refused communion and confession, believing they would hasten his demise. He died anyway, and because he’d skipped the sacraments, during Eastertide no less, the Catholic Church refused him proper burial. As a result his family had to schlep his body around ignominiously for months. It first lay for sixty days in a friend’s bed, before health officials stepped in. His corpse was next transferred to an abandoned leper’s hospital, where a crooked caretaker charged tourists money to gawk at it, then to a cement tub in an olive oil processing plant. Family finally smuggled his bones back into Genoa in secret and interred him in a private garden, where he lay for thirty-six years, until the church finally forgave him and permitted burial.

Paganini’s grave at Cemetery Della Villetta, Parma, Italy

Culled from: The Violinist’s Thumb


Spectral Legend Du Jour!

Halloween is coming soon – so why not indulge in a ghost story?

A White-Clad Baroness Seeks Revenge

Rising in ruined majesty beside the river Danube, the Bavarian fortress of Wolfsegg never fell to enemies in a history reaching back almost a thousand years. But while its walls withstood siege and strife without, they harbored violence within – mayhem said to echo still in the ghostly form of a woman who died there centuries ago.

Built in 1028, the fortress belonged successively to several quarrelsome Bavarian nobles, most of them involved in the region’s incessant dynastic bickering. A Renaissance tale of triple murder surrounds one such aristocratic warrior clan, the Laabers of Wolfsegg. The story tells that in the fourteenth century, a Laaber baron married a lovely woman who became the victim of a nefarious plot. Wanting to take over the valuable estate, the baron’s greedy relatives contrived to put the bride in a compromising situation with a man not her husband. The baron was then told that his wife was having an illicit rendezvous. He appeared at the castle to discover what looked to be a tryst, whereupon he killed his wife and her supposed lover. He, in turn, was murdered by the relatives, who claimed theirs was an act of justice.

Along with the feudal property, the relatives may have also inherited a curse; for some say the slain baroness, dressed in luminous white robes, still walks the halls and stairways of Wolfsegg. Residents of the castle have reported seeing glowing apparitions and hearing phantom footsteps and feeling inexplicable cold drafts.

Skeptics say the luminescences at Wolfsegg are mere will-o’-the-wisps, gaseous exudations from a bat-filled, dripstone cavern underlying the castle. But others believe that the White Lady returns to the site of her betrayal, seeking vindication of her name and justice for her traitorous kin.

Culled from: Mysteries of the Unknown: Hauntings

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