Search results for: chamber of horrors

Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors in the 1800s

The forerunner to Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors was La Caverne des Grands Voleurs (The Cavern of the Great Thieves), founded by Madame Tussaud’s uncle and mentor, Philippe Mathé Curtius. At his Caverne visitors could linger and scrutinize the morbid and bloody details related to a murder, or they could view all the associated gruesomeness…

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Female Prisoners at Newgate and Elizabeth Fry

There were many female prisoners at Newgate during the 1700 and 1800s. Part of the reason why is that the living standards for rural women in England and Wales appears to have worsened as the Industrial Revolution progressed. This may have been one reason why one study provided by Stephen Nicholas and Deborah Oxley titled…

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Harry T Hayward: Socialite, Arsonist, and Murderer

Harry T Hayward may have been a socialite, but he was also an arsonist and murderer. From a phrenologist’s point of view he was deemed at the time to be a “man of low type, the lower face being especially heavy, while the rear top head presents the gable conformation characteristics of the criminal class.”[1]…

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The London Burkers: Body Snatchers of the 1830s

The London Burkers were a group of body snatchers or resurrection men who operated in London in the 1830s and came to prominence in 1831. They operated as a gang stealing and selling dead bodies to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, St. Thomas’ Hospital, and King’s College School of Anatomy in order to allow anatomists, surgeons, and…

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Elizabeth Ross: Convicted Burkeite and Murderess

Thirty-eight-year-old Elizabeth Ross was the common law wife of fifty-year-old Edward Cook, and therefore, sometimes called Mrs. Cook. The couple lived with their 12-year-old son Edward, known as Ned, in a one room apartment in Goodman’s Yard, where they had recently moved. As the couple knew 84-year-old Caroline Walsh they encouraged her to move nearby.…

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Parliament Fire of 1834: The Night it Burned Down

The same year that Madame Tussaud established her Chamber of Horrors, was the same year that the parliament fire of 16 October 1834 began. Apparently, the Exchequer needed to dispose of an obsolete accounting system that had not been used since 1826. The system relied on elongated tally sticks described as follows: “[A tally is…

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George Victor Townley and His Murder of Elizabeth Goodwin

George Victor Townley murdered 22-year-old Elizabeth (Betsy or Bessie) Goodwin on 21 August 1863. It was a passion-filled murder where he stabbed her several times because she broke off their engagement. It was also one more story in a long line of horrid stories and would have been a perfect tableau for Madame Tussaud‘s Chamber…

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Dr. Edmond Pommerais: Murderer of the 1800s

Dr. Edmond Pommerais was a spendthrift and gambler who was not above doing whatever it took to become rich. His story begins with his efforts to become a wealthy doctor of homeopathy. When that failed, he decided it would be easier to obtain a rich wife and attempted to do so through several matrimonial agency…

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France’s First Serial Killer Martin Dumollard

Frances’s first serial killer Martin Dumollard was discovered after he attempted to murder a young servant from Lyons named Marie Pichon. Although the murder happened in France, his story was particularly appealing to people in England and of the incident the Norfolk Chronicle reported:

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Christmas Crime in the Victorian Era

In the late nineteenth century, the holidays were often thought of as a time of cheer, but along with that cheer came Christmas crime in the Victorian Era. It was plentiful and resulted in anything but peace on earth. Perhaps, that was why the following Christmas card, although wishing Christmas cheer, displays a dead bird.

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