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  • Writer's pictureMacabre Emporium Pod

Clearance Bin Volume 2



Universal Monsters, Frankenstein
Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster

One of our favorite places to grab dinner is this amazing smokehouse in Decatur, IN called Soul Pig. If you haven’t heard of it, I (WE) highly suggest eating there if you’re ever in that area. Also, Famous Monster Pizza… I know we have talked about them before as well, definitely worth the trip out there, especially if you’re a fan of the Universal Monsters!

Speaking of Universal Monsters, in December of 1931, Decatur was showing a new film in the downtown area. A little movie called Frankenstein starring the one and only Boris Karloff. If you aren’t familiar with Frankenstein: 1 - I am utterly shocked, 2 - it’s about a mad scientist that pieces together a “monster” by using pieces of dead bodies that he stole out of graves.

When the movie first begins, it shows two figures emerge from the shadows before it shows them digging up a newly inhabited gravesite so they can steal the contents below. Little did Decatur movie fans know, that at the same exact time they were watching this movie, there was an eerily similar event happening just around the corner at one of their local cemeteries.

Larry Fuhrman was a caretaker at the Decatur Cemetery, and on the evening of December 4th, 1931, he took notice of the upturned Earth where a casket had been interred 9 months earlier. It was the grave of 38 year old Milo Ward Black, who was a businessman from Evansville, Indiana - which is a little less than a 5 hour drive south of Decatur. He had passed away following a surgery and was buried in this cemetery because that is where all of his relatives lived.

Those that caught wind of Mr. Black’s unearthing speculated that it was because of his status as a fairly wealthy businessman at the time, and the talk that circulated about how during his viewing, his lifeless body had been adorned with a good amount of expensive jewelry - gold and diamonds in particular. His casket didn’t help anything either, as anyone who saw it could tell you it was top of the line expensive.

The graverobbers hadn’t failed in their attempt to get to Milo’s casket, because they did hit the cement encasement and had cracked it open to show the casket in its entirety. But they did fail after that, and no one is quite sure why that is. The seal on the casket hadn’t been broken, the lid never lifted. Did they get scared and run off, did someone come into view and they had to run to save their own asses? We don’t know.

However, if they were successful in completing this grave robbery, they would have been pretty pissed. Milo Black’s family had removed every bit of jewelry he was wearing prior to him being interred. All that work would have been for nothing, and it would have served them right, honestly.

Sheriff Burl Johnson and another police officer had spent the next few nights inside the Decatur Cemetery to watch over the now opened grave. They were hoping that the grave robbers would have returned, but they never did.

On the following Monday, someone was called to come out and repair the cement casing surrounding Milo’s casket. Once that was fixed, they refilled the hole with dirt and made sure Mr. Black was nice and snug back in his final resting place.

The reason as to why Milo was targeted for graverobbing is still unknown, and there have never been any arrests or charges made in this incident.

Also…go watch Frankenstein people.


Corpse Candles

Corpse Candles, Death
Corpse Candles

The legend surrounding corpse candles date back to the 1800s in Ireland and Wales. In most of the stories told, people describe unexplainable lights that flicker over the house of someone who is near death. The person that is near death is expected to pass quickly if they themselves see it. They also say those same lights will then make a path to where the person will be buried, even before the funeral and grave digging takes place.

In Wales, there are numerous legends and tales that involve strange lights. Anyone that saw them have described the lights as moving in a straight line, directly from the home of the deceased person straight to where they are to be buried. It’s been reported that the lights will travel pretty long distances, over terrain that is otherwise unreachable.

Some witnesses have described these lights and have been able to predict the gender and age of the person that is soon to die. An adult male's light is a big red light. An adult female’s light is white. A child’s light is small and blue. An infant’s light is a vibrant blue. And if there are two lights in differing sizes side by side - that was determined to be a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

There is a well known tale of corpse lights in Wales. It is that of three men that were tossed off of their boat when it hit storm conditions. Due to the rough ways of the water at the time, all three men drowned. Someone passing by on a horse said they saw three strange lights hovering the river in the exact spot the three men died. But at this point, no one knew that three men had drowned there until days after this passerby mentioned the lights. It was days later when they were found.

Welsh writer, Phil Carradice, stated that historians from the 1800s were fine with just retelling the same folklore and legends without ever trying to find a source or reason behind the occurrences.

Later on though, the legend of the corpse candles stopped being told as much. Those that did talk about them were often the people that were isolated and superstitious. Logical explanations started to come out about the lights being seen. Scientists stated what was being seen was more than likely static electricity, ball lightning or light reflecting off of water/dew from the sun setting overhead.

Owls were also thought to be a possibility since they have luminescence on their feathers due to fungal bioluminescence - also known as “Foxfire”. It is also possible that the corpse candles seen were actually methane gasses catching fire that were produced by decomposing material that was in and around bogs, marshlands and swamps.



Le Petomane - Fartomanic

Joseph Pujol, the Fartomaniac

Joseph Pujol was born in Marseille, France which is located on the Southern Coastline of the country on the Balearic Sea. He was one of five children of a stonemason and sculptor Francois Pujol and his wife Rose. After leaving school at an unknown age, Joseph learned he had a special talent while swimming in the sea. As Joseph dove under the water he would abruptly feel cold piercing in his stomach and in a panic would run to shore. In his panic from something happening, he would be amazed by the amount of water his turd cutter was holding. He could hold up to 2 liters of water inside of his body. He would end up visiting a doctor about his ability to hold this much water but the doctor simply laughed him off and advised him to stay out of the sea.

While serving in the Army, he would tell his fellow soldiers of his special talent. Joseph would suck water up into his butt bugle and project it several yards applying 670 poison damage over 6 seconds. He would also discover he could do this with air as well.

Joseph Pujol not only was a soldier but a baker as well. He would occasionally entertain his customers by imitating musical instruments, and claim to be playing them behind the counter. Pujol decided to try his act on stage in 1887 in Marseilles and his act was well received. In these first few performances of his trouser tuba, he would earn the name Le Petomane which translates into fartomaniac.

He would to Paris in 1892 and perform at the world-famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. He would meet with the theaters director Charles Zidler and assured him he would be the rage all over Paris.

According to the archives of the Moulin Rouge, their conversation went as follows:

Le Petomane: Well, you see monsieur, I have an anus like a suction device. In other words, my anus is so stretchy that I can open and close it at will.

Zidler: So what?

Le Petomane: It happens, monsieur, that through this fortunate opening, I can take any quantity of liquid given to me.

Skeptical of his talents Zidler offered a basin of water to La Patomane, and he came prepared with a hole cut in his underwear and quickly sucked water up his banana shooter and poured it back into the basin.

Le Petomane: That’s not all! After an enema like that, I can continually expel odorless gas. The secret of my act lies in the different qualities of sound that I can produce.

Zidler: Then, you sing from your behind!

Le Petomane: Yes, monsieur, Tenor, one! Baritone, two! Bass, three! Contralto, four! Soprano, five! Now, a vocalist, one-half!

Zidler: And my mother-in-law, can you do that too?

Le Petomane: Here goes!

Next thing Zidler would hear a deafeningly loud noise as the archives described it. And in the point of tears from laughing Zidler would hire him and tell La Patomane he is starting that evening.

Dressed in a red coat, black satin pants, and white gloves Le Petomane would address the crowd:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the honor to present you a session of Petomane. The word Petomane means someone who can break the wind at will, but don’t let your nose worry you. My parents ruined themselves scenting my rectum.”

In his act, he would imitate the farts of a timid young girl, the hearty fart of the miller, the fart of the bride on her wedding night which was almost inaudible, and then the fart of the bride a week later that was similar to when you would raspberry someone. To round out these fart imitations he would let out a thunder but majestic 10-second fart. He would also imitate the sound of effects cannon fire, thunder, and musical instruments.

Besides these impressions, he would insert a rubber hose into his balloon knot and smoke a cigarette. After he was finished with this cigarette he would take the same rubber tube and attach it to an ocarina and perform the French national anthem, Le Roi Dagobert (Good King Gagobert)., and O Sole Mio ”my own sunshine”, and would invite the audience to sing along. And for his grand finale, he would extinguish a candle about a foot away from his Hershey highway and then the gas stage lights one by one.

La Petomane would become so popular he would earn 20,000 francs a show which came out to be 38,000 in today's Us dollars.

La Petomane would draw the attention of the Prince of Wales Edward VII, King Leopold II which he had to sneak into Paris incognito to see La Petomane, even Austrian Sigmund Freud.

In 1894 he would end up being sued by the Moulin Rouge and fined 3000 francs (17,000 US dollars) for performing an impromptu exhibition in aid of a friend having financial trouble. Due to the Moulin Rouge suing him, He would go on to tour through North Africa and Europe performing his act with his own theater company. The Moulin Rouge would try and replace him with a female Petomane named Mademoiselle Thiebeau, but the people of Paris found it to be absurd to try and replace La Petomane and she was quickly exposed as a fraud when Bellows would be found under her skirt.

When WW I broke out Le Petomane would retire his act and return to Marseilles and take up baking again after two of his sons out of his 10 children became disabled from fighting in the war. Later on, opening a biscuit in Toulon and died in 1945 surrounded by family and friends at the age of 88.

Joseph Pujol, La Petomane would inspire a number of artistic works several being musicals based on his life such as The Fartiste which was awarded best musical at the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival. Passing Wind by Seth Rozin in 2011 at the Philadelphia International of the Arts. Le Petomane would be added into a reworked version of 1953 Broadway Can-Can in its 2007 revival by David Lee.

While he was still alive he worked with Thomas Edison on a film that was to be accompanied by smell but Le Petomane didn’t want to be misrepresented because he would give himself enemas before his performances so his farts wouldn’t smell. There is a 30-second clip of YouTube of La Petomane performing and unfortunately, it's only a silent film.

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