Dead Children’s Playground

Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.

On the grounds of the cemetery, there is a park.  It is located at the bottom of what looks like a crater.  The official name is Maple Hill Park; however, locals call it Dead Children’s Playground.

It is a popular place for paranormal investigators and ghost hunters to visit or conduct research.  According to local folklore, the park is haunted by the children in the cemetery.  At midnight, they come out to play on the swings.  It is said, the swings will start moving and you can hear children laughing in the middle of the night.

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Rabid – A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

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This book is unique, because it takes an in-depth look at rabies and how the virus influenced human history and our culture.

There is a historical section that describes treatments used in the middle ages.  The infected person would have the wound cauterized and blood would be drained from their bodies.  Various herbs and spices were also used in an attempt to purify the body.

Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine that could save victims if administered before they showed signs of the disease.  However, some physicians of that time did not believe in germ theory and felt the vaccine was dangerous or would be ineffective.

There is another section that explains how the virus is transmitted and how it kills the victim.  It also talks about the viruses ability to spread quickly within a geographical region and which animals are most likely to be carriers of the virus.

The final section of the book discusses how rabies has influence our culture.  Victims of the rabies virus displayed shocking symptoms, which influenced the folklore and helped develop stories about werewolves, vampires, and zombies.

Rabies also played a role in popular literature and in movies, for example:  Cugo, The Rage, and Old Yellower.

I enjoyed the book, because it was informative and I learned a great deal about the rabies virus.  I was also impressed by how much this virus influenced culture, literature, folklore, and movies.

My Dog Brownie

Brownie in the popular folklore of Scotland is a good-natured, invisible, household goblin that lives in farmhouses and other country dwellings.  While the people are asleep, the Brownie performs their labors for them.  If offered payment for his services, the Brownie disappears and is never seen again.

– Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, 1996

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Brownie 1996-2010

My dog, Brownie, never did any chores.  I even feed him every day and still nothing.  However, he also didn’t disappear, so I guess I am good with his lack of work.