The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Now that's what I call collateral!

AZCentral.com (requires age/gender/zip code the first time you visit, but a.) this article is totally worth it and b.) who says you have to be 100% accurate? *ahem* Hey, it was close enough for their purposes...) has a great article about this town in Mexico that has a museum of mummies. Mind you, these aren't the honored dead of an ancient civilization... Oh, no - these are the remains of people whose families could no longer afford to pay for their grave plots. You see, it evidently costs about US$ 80 to get a perpetual lease on a gravesite from the city - or you can lease a site for US$ 20 for five years... Fail to pay, your dearly departed becomes city property, and you have a decade to make good on your debt. After 10 years, if the body's in decent shape (and evidently, 1 in 100 are), well... this is what you get:

GUANAJUATO, Mexico - The mummified baby sits alone in a glass case, its blue sweater still buttoned against the chill of death, its pale hands resting on the disposable diaper it was buried in. Across the room, three severed heads gaze at the wall. A little girl with the face of a zombie clutches a smiling doll, and an infant in a baptismal gown laces its gnarled fingers as if in prayer. All were evicted from the city cemetery after their families stopped paying the rent on their graves. Feeling faint? Then read no further, because that's just the first room at the Guanajuato Mummy Museum in central Mexico, where a macabre collection of modern-day cadavers, mysteriously preserved by nature itself, nourishes Mexico's fascination with death.
Well... are you feeling faint yet? I imagine our readers to be made of sterner stuff than that, so trust me when I say that there's a lot more in that article worth reading. Another taste:
The dead include Chinese and French immigrants who came to Guanajuato during its heyday as a center for silver mining. There also is the owner of a plantation, dressed in fine clothes. As if the real mummies aren't creepy enough, the $5 admission includes a campy chamber of horrors called the Room of Death Worship, where museum workers have used real body parts to assemble skeletons of Count Dracula and other legendary undead.
Go and click, I command you - it's good...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bibi said...

Hey Carnaki, did you see this: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8262?

11/03/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bella said...

You have got to be kidding me. They evict the dead? What the hell kind of sick crap is that? Babies and children on display because thier families could no longer afford to rent a pace fromt he to stay burried. Asses backwards.

Would be interesting to see though. :)

11/03/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

bella: actually, evicting the dead is pretty common globally - that's how the tradition of ossuarys developed, for instance. It's the museum that's the novel wrinkle in this case.

bibi: ooh, ooh! I saw it, I saw it! I'm surprised Carnacki didn't blog it - he must be busy...

11/03/2005 03:42:00 PM  

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