Strange Persons

Heaven’s Gate – the cult that killed themselves in order to board a waiting UFO hiding behind a comet.

Who were Heaven's Gate? Applewhite’s family could understand how the man they knew - a friendly, happy, caring Christian and devoted husband and father of two - could walk away from everything to found a cult. But that's what Marshall Applewhite did. And not just any cult. Heaven’s Gate was strange even among the bizarre New Age beliefs that were popularized in the 1970s — a time when a generation of free spirits were leaving the conventional behind to find themselves. For one, Heaven’s Gate was the first cult to go hi-tech. It had a website before most traditional businesses did, and its beliefs were meticulously spacey, involving aliens, UFOs, and talk of ascension to the “next level.” Visitors to the website were not quite sure if what

Niccolo Paganini – the virtuoso violinist that people believed sold his soul to the devil

Born in 1782, Niccolo Paganini was an expert Italian violinist, guitarist, and composer. The most celebrated virtuoso violinist of his time, his technique and abilities were thought to be “beyond a human’s capabilities”. His concerts left attendees entranced and wondering, “Did Paganini make a deal with the devil, or had Satan taken a human form?” When Paganini’s father recognized his unique talents at age 7, he put him under renowned instructors such as Giovanni Servetto and Giacomo Costa but within months, Paganini’s talent progressed beyond that of his teachers. His father then travelled to Parma to seek the guidance of master violinist Alessandro Rolla. Rolla immediately referred him to his own teacher, Ferdinando Paer. Paganini continued to be passed from teacher to teacher until finally, Paganini’s

10-year-old boy says he is reincarnated Hollywood actor – backed by startling detailed facts

Stories weren’t like a child could have made up At four years of age, Ryan began waking in the middle of the night, tortured by nightmares. His dreams were detailed, vivid visions in which he was always in the body of another man. His mother explained: “His stories were so detailed and they were so extensive, that it just wasn’t like a child could have made it up.” Ryan’s dreams seemed more like memories. Mommy, I found me! His parents noted that Ryan would make unusual comments like, “I used to be big but now I’m little” and “I liked it better when I was big and I could go wherever I wanted to.” He would see pictures of the Hollywood Hills on television and point at the TV and quip,

Woman with craving for toilet paper maintains a diet of one toilet paper roll per day

The condition is called pica, and like a pregnant woman who hungers for unusual food combinations, 25-year-old Jade Sylvester’s cravings cause her to consume toilet paper at a rate of about one toilet paper roll per day. Jade, who hails from England, says her cravings began during her pregnancy over a year ago and notes the bizarre eating habit began slowly, with just a few nibbles.  She insists that taste is not really the reason she enjoys eating the powdery paper.. "Two months into the pregnancy, I started craving toilet roll. I still don't know why. I like the feeling of the texture in my mouth, rather than the taste. I like the dryness.  At first I used to eat a couple of squares at a time,

80-year-old Iranian man has not taken a bath in more than 60 years – looks like dirt

The picture above is not a rock or earthen statue - it's a real man, albeit a dirty one.  80-year-old Iranian Amou Haji, resident of the Dejgah village in the southern Iranian province of Fars, has not bathed in over 60 years, giving his skin and clothing an earth-tone that allows him to blend in with his surroundings.  Believing that cleanliness will only make him ill, the only water he comes into contact with is the 1 ½ gallons of water he drinks each day from an old, rusty oil can.  And his curious lifestyle choices do not end there… Haji also holds a special contempt for fresh food and instead chooses to dine on the putrid, decaying flesh of dead animals; rotting porcupine is his

Mad Jack Churchill – the eccentric military hero who fought World War II with a sword, bow, and arrows

In a war that featured, for the first time, “modern” formidable weapons such as grenades, mortars, machine guns, flamethrowers, and armored tanks, one eccentric young soldier decided early on to buck traditional convention and stick what he was most comfortable with. Thus, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, who came to be known as “Mad Jack,” fought in World War II using a sword, bow, and a quiver of arrows, an arsenal that proved quite effective and earned Mad Jack two Distinguished Service Orders, a Military Cross, and a promotion to commanding officer. When asked about his outdated weaponry, Mad Jack flatly stated, “In my opinion, any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” Romantic and sensitive, Mad Jack was an avid

Vladimir Demikhov – Russia’s real-life mad scientists creates living two-headed dogs in the lab

Vladimir Demikhov's illustrious career provided many interesting advances in the Russian medical science field.  In 1937, at the young age of 21, Demikhov designed the first ever cardiac-assist device, a pump mechanism which was capable of taking over a heart's cardiac function for a full five and a half hours.  In 1946, Demikhov became the first to perform a heart transplant on a dog.  Remarkably, the dog survived for five months after the operation.  In subsequent years, Demikhov was able to transplant a lung and perform a cardiovascular bypass - all using dogs for patients.  For a while, his work was renowned and respected in the medical community.  Dr. Alexis Carrel, an American surgeon and experimental biologist who won a 1912 Nobel Prize, said that

British celebrity Jimmy Savile – Britain’s most prolific sexual predator

Long known to be an odd and eccentric character, famous British celebrity Jimmy Savile was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of children and raping more than thirty people during his tenure as Britain’s popular media personality. The abuse, in which nearly 75% of the victims were children, spanned a period of six decades from 1955 to 2009 and was carried out at children’s hospitals, schools, and on the sets of television productions, including BBC's studios. It is believed that occasionally, other “pedophile” celebrities, such as flamboyant pop musician Gary Glitter, are alleged to have participated with or accompanied Savile in his acts of abuse. According to a report released in early 2013, called Giving Victims a Voice, 450 victims came forward to allege incidents of sexual abuse or

Carlos Mirabelli

Introduction Carlos Mirabelli was born in 1889.  He had a very basic education and was known to be a very 'simple' man.  Despite his humble beginnings, Carlos exhibited a remarkable array of talents. Persons close to Carlos indicated that he only spoke his native language but in many documented events he demonstrated the ability to speak over 28 languages including German, French, Dutch, Italian, Czech, Arabic, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Albanian, several African dialects, Latin, Chinese, Greek, Polish, Egyptian, and ancient Greek.  To further confound his peers, some of the subjects he spoke on included medicine, sociology, politics, theology, psychology, history, astronomy, music, and literature - all subjects that would have been unheard of to a man with only a

Vlad the Impaler

Introduction Most people are familiar with Bram Stoker's infamous book - Dracula.  What you may not know is that Stoker's famous writing was based upon a real-life character.   Although Bram's Dracula was indeed quite forbidding, the real life Dracula is the epitome of evil. The Dracul Family The historical Dracul family begins with Basarab the Great (1310 - 1352) who ruled the province of Wallachia.  Wallachia is located in Romania, bordered by Transylvania to the north and Bulgaria to the South. From here, history splinters and the path divides.  We know that by the 1400's, the Basarab clan had split into two rival factions.  One was led by Prince Dan and the other by Prince Mircea the Old.  During

Hetty Green – the Witch of Wall Street

Who was Hetty Green? In 1864, Hetty Green, the 'Witch of Wall Street' inherited over $1 million dollars from her father when she was 30 years old.  Hetty, who could read the financial pages when she was 6 years old, didn't hesitate to exercise her aggressive style with her newfound riches.  She increased here fortune by investing  in Civil War Bonds when everyone else shunned them.  She played the market with a skill unequaled by today's modern moneymakers.  But while other aristocrats of her day spent their money languishly, Hetty held on to her hard-earned riches with an iron fist. Hetty Green gained her nickname, the Witch of Wall Street, from her fellow investors who often chuckled when Hetty arrived in

Howard Hughes – the richest man on Earth and his many bizarre eccentricities

Background Howard Hughes was born in Texas in 1905 to Howard Robard Hughes and Dallas heiress Allene Gano. Raised by an overly obsessive mother who forced him to endure strange cleanliness rituals, douse himself with mineral oil daily, and avoid other 'germ ridden' children, Howard had no other alternative than to be different. His mother, who insisted on giving him hand-baths until his teen years, died when he was 16 years old and his father perished just two years later. The youth took over his father's company (at the age of 18), the Hughes Tool Company, and was immediately recognized for his brilliant business skills. Howard Hughes' Life Bored with the tool business, Howard became a movie producer and created such classics as Scarface, Hell's Angels, and The Outlaw. His

The Mysterious Piano Man

On May 17, 2006, a man dressed nicely in a stylish black jacket, white shirt and tie was found dripping wet near the ocean on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent (about 5 miles east of London). The man spoke not a word. All labels had been removed from every item of clothing that he wore. He had no identification. He was immediately taken to the maritime Hospital in Gillingham. Officials questioned the man for hours but he would simply stare blankly at the wall. When they approached him, he would roll himself into a ball and crawl into a corner. Someone had the idea of leaving a blank piece of paper with him and leaving the room. When they returned, they found he had drawn an

The Bizarre Life and Times of Michael Jackson

A star is born Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was the 7th of nine children. Michael Jackson and four of his brothers (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon), at the encouragement of their father, performed in a talent show when Michael was six years old. They won 1st prize. Motown Records signed the brothers in 1968 and the Jackson Five was born. The Jackson Five and a Solo Career Together the Jackson Five recorded 14 albums. In 1972, Michael recorded his first solo album. 10 years later, Michael recorded Thriller. Thriller went off the charts. It spent 80 weeks in the American Top 10. It was during this time that Michael Jackson performed his jaw dropping Moonwalk on live TV at the