When I was in first grade, my grandfather gave me the most beautiful necklace that I had ever seen in my entire life. He had crafted it by hand. It boasted a beautiful chain and at the end of the chain, slightly yellowed but in otherwise perfect condition….
I proudly wore it to school only to have my teacher, Mrs. Boyer, confiscate it from me. It was unsanitary, she said. It wasn’t appropriate, she said. Granted, this was a time of day-glo leggings, stonewashed jeans, “mall bangs,” and The New Kids on the Block (uh – Joey was my favorite NKOTB member). I suppose my necklace made of faux teeth was too much of a fashion faux pas.
My grandfather on the other hand absolutely loved hearing that story. I was heartbroken that I was no longer allowed to wear my newest piece of jewelry to school anymore. I suppose on some level it solidified my status as the weird student. I’ll never know for sure because we moved after first grade ended to what I now consider my hometown.
This, I believe, was my introduction to the weird and unusual. I was never without a Stephen King book. I was obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster and Lydia Deetz. I wanted to grow up and not only be a scientist, but also a Ghostbuster, and one of the witches from Hocus Pocus. My grandparents and mother were voracious readers. I would pick up one of their true crime books and spend an afternoon reading about Ted Bundy. Or John Wayne Gacy. Or I would listen to my grandmother tell me ghost stories. Or I’d watch the revival of The Twilight Zone on television.
True, there are people who think that maybe a kid shouldn’t grow up reading about serial killers or wearing a necklace made out of dentures. But if anything, it fueled my curiosity; a curiosity that has stayed with me my entire life. Today, I have two college degrees and teach writing and research. My love of true crime, medical “oddities,” Victorian death studies, and everything in between led me to create this blog where I hope to write about the morbid, the strange, and just a little bit of true crime. Some posts may not be for those with a weak stomach. But if you’re curious and love the macabre, welcome! I can’t wait to get to know you.