That’s right, the first volume of Grave Deeds and Dead Plots is now LIVE!
Welcome to the first volume of an exciting new series, Grave Deeds and Dead Plots. These collections feature spine-tingling tales of true crime … with added ghosts. Each story is a tale of murder, passion, or cold-blooded killing—and each case has resulted in an eerie haunting.
Do the victims of true crime remain to tell the tales of their untimely demise? Are the dead still crying out for justice? Do the departed have stories to share? Find out in the first installment of Grave Deeds and Dead Plots, a new series by award-winning* author Sylvia Shults.
You can find the book on Amazon, of course, but you might also want to try Bookshop.org. When you order from Bookshop, part of your money goes to support independent bookstores, which is just awesome.
*First Place in the Spring 2022 BookFest Awards, for Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories
The chemical company Bayer lost the trademark for aspirin as part of Germany’s reparations for the first World War. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
America’s original national motto, “E pluribus unum”, was plagiarized from an ancient recipe for salad dressing. The Latin phrase meaning “From many, one” held great symbolism for the colonies that decided to get together to form their own nation. The term made its first appearance in a poem by the Roman poet Virgil called “Moretum” … and it described salad dressing. The ingredients in the recipe, Virgil wrote, would surrender their individuality, when mixed, to form one harmonious, tasty dish. (From Mental Floss)
Twins Samuel and Ronan Peterson were born in Cape Cod Hospital on November 6, 2016, to parents Emily and Seth, of West Barnstable, Massachusetts. Samuel was born at 1:39 am and Ronan arrived 31 minutes later, but by the time Emily had given birth to Ronan, the clocks had gone back one hour due to daylight savings time. So Ronan’s official time of birth became 1:10 am, making him the older brother even though he was born half an hour after Samuel. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
Twin brothers Jeremy and Nick Hart retired as British Airways pilots by landing their final flights thirty second apart at London’s Heathrow airport on September 28, 2017. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
In 2017, an 81-year-old man called the police to tell them he had found an unexploded World War II bomb in the garden of his home near Karlsruhe, Germany, but when the officers arrived, they found it was a 16-inch-long zucchini. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
In 2017, a food bank in Cardiff, Wales, received a 46-year-old can of soup as a donation. The flavor — Heinz kidney soup — had been discontinued more than 35 years ago. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
Francisco Rios, of Hartford, Connecticut, won $100,000 on the state lottery in 2018 by using numbers taken from a classic 1958 episode of the TV western series Bronco. He used the numbers 22, 2,18,12, and 28 because the episode was about a man who had been buried in a glacier for 22 years, 2 months, 18 days, 12 hours, and 28 minutes. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
In the latter half of the eighth century, the Japanese began using incense to mark time by placing a stick of it horizontally in a wooden box with holes marked at specific intervals. You could tell how much time had passed by noting which hole the smoke was coming from. An incense stick could be made with a number of different scent blends, so that simply sniffing the air would indicate the time. (This scented method of keeping time was so efficient that until 1924, geishas were still paid by the number of incense sticks lit during their time with a client.) (From The Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects, by Amy Azzarito)
During Hurricane Ophelia, tens of thousands of apples were blown off of the trees in an orchard in Clonmel, Ireland — but the fruits landed unbruised and ready for cider processing. The nearby River Suir flooded at the same time the apples were stripped from the trees, and when the water receded, the apples were laid to rest gently, blanketing the ground under the trees. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
Author Ray Bradbury was a descendant of a woman convicted in the Salem Witch Trials. Mary Perkins Bradbury was sentenced to be hanged in 1692 but managed to escape before she could be executed. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
For an art festival in Kassel, Germany, Argentine artist Marta Minujin built a full-size replica of the Parthenon using 100,000 books that have been banned at one time or another. Constructed with a steel framework, the sculpture was made with books donated by the public from a list of over 170 titles, including The Da Vinci Code, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Catcher in the Rye. And the coolest part? It was built on a former Nazi book-burning site. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
In April 1935, the Titanian, a tramp steamer carrying coal from Newcastle, England, to Canada, encountered an iceberg in the same area as the Titanic had done 23 years earlier. Crew member William Reeves had a premonition seconds before the iceberg came into view and yelled “Danger ahead!” to the navigator, who quickly reversed the engines and brought the ship to a halt. Reeves was born on April 15, 1912 — the date on which the Titanic sank. (From Eyewitness: Titanic)
I have news! Good news! I’ve just found out that Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories has won First Place in the Bookfest Awards. How about that? And you can go here to get your very own copy, if you haven’t already: https://bookshop.org/…/days-of-the-dead-a…/9781735668987
At one point in his career, actor Gary Oldman had played so many American characters in movies that he lost his British accent and had to go to a speech therapist to get it back. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
The app RunPee advises users on the best time to take an urgent toilet break during a trip to a movie theater so that they do not miss a crucial moment. It picks out three- to five-minute-long movie scenes that do not contain essential plot twists, exciting action, or laugh-out-loud moments. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
What’s even better than exploring a haunted location all evening? Getting to spend the rest of the night there! And when the spirits come out to play, that’s when things get REALLY interesting … join me for another visit to one of my favorite haunted places, Malvern Manor. https://youtu.be/AoqSaueVit8
The naked mole rat can survive for nearly twenty minutes without oxygen — by effectively turning itself into a plant. It is able to change its normal metabolism so that its body cells are powered by fructose rather than glucose, a process that requires no oxygen. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
Cows produce three times as much saliva as milk. On average, they produce around twenty gallons of saliva every day, compared to six gallons of milk. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
A typo helped the Allied forces crack the famous Enigma code and ultimately defeat the Germans in World War Two. The UK Ministry of Defense recruited Geoffrey Tandy to work at its top-secret Bletchley Park headquarters in Buckinghamshire, England, in the belief that he was an expert cryptogramist — someone who deciphers codes — when in fact he was a cryptogamist, an expert on mosses, algae, and seaweed. Despite the mistake, he stayed, and when a German U-boat was sunk in 1941 and its cryptic documents captured, his knowledge of preserving water-damaged specimens proved invaluable in making the papers readable. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
George Romero, famous for his Living Dead zombie movie franchise, also made videos for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
When Romero got out of college, he and a few friends started a movie company called The Latent Image, and billed themselves as “Producers of Industrial Films and Television Commercials.” Some of Romero’s earliest jobs were short films commissioned by the show, shown on Picture Picture: “Things With Wheels”, “Things That Feel Soft”, and “How Light Bulbs Are Manufactured”. (Romero still jokes that the scariest film he ever made was “Mr. Rogers Gets A Tonsillectomy.”) With the experience he got on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Romero scraped up $114,000 to make Night of the Living Dead, helped by volunteers and free entrails from a local butcher shop. He really wanted Betty Aberlin, the human actress in the Land of Make-Believe, to play Barbara, the lead in Night of the Living Dead, but Mr. Rogers put his foot down and said NO. (And by the way, Mr. Rogers saw Night of the Living Dead — and loved it.) (From Kindness and Wonder: Why Mr. Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever, by Gavin Edwards.)