Marty's Blog

Excavated records show the perilous past of 17th century Londoners

Ancient Londoners to be dug up in railway project, volenteers working to try to identify individuals.

Excavated records show the perilous past of 17th century Londoners

by Sam Wilkin Reuters Feb 9nth 2015

LONDON (Reuters) - Londoners in the 17th century were never far from danger as plague, infant mortality and angry mobs menaced the capital, burial records dug up by the Crossrail construction project showed on Monday.

Crossrail, a 15 billion pound ($23 billion) railway link connecting east and west London due to open in 2018, is conducting a marathon digging operation for the 42 km (26 miles) of new tunnels under the British capital.

Sixteen volunteers working with Crossrail did a different sort of digging, combing through parish records to provide the names of more than 3,000 people at the Bedlam Burial Ground under Liverpool Street Station.

The majority of those identified were buried between 1570 and 1729, a period which included the English civil war of 1642-51, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of London of 1666.

"This research is a window into one of the most turbulent periods of London's past," Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist, said in a statement.

Among those identified was Nicholas Ambrose, a mayor of London buried in 1575, and John Lamb, an astrologer with noble clients who was stoned to death by an angry mob in 1628 after allegations of rape and black magic.

But most of those buried at Bedlam were London's poor, and the records paint a picture of a fragile existence where disease and infant mortality were never far away.

One man, John Smith, buried three of his children within a month in 1574, and made his own final trip to Bedlam four years later.

Hundreds more of the people identified had fallen victim to the plague or other epidemics such as small pox and tuberculosis.

The burial ground took its name from the nearby Bethlehem Hospital for the mentally ill whose name was commonly shortened to Bedlam.

The ground did not keep its own records, so the volunteers searched the records of over 100 parish churches in central London which sent their members to Bedlam to be buried.

Crossrail will begin excavating the ground next month, and will submit the skeletons to scientific analysis before reburying them in consecrated ground.

The railway, which will link Heathrow Airport and central London to suburbs and satellite towns, is Europe's largest infrastructure project and is now half complete, on budget and on schedule.

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Naked and Afraid Paranormal the next BLAH Thing coming to a cable network soon

Todays blog is an email a friend of mine passed on to me that I feel like sharing with everyone regarding paranormal/reality tv and its increasing nose dive. IMO as more/most paranormal shows have been produced and are getting increasingly low budget/quality. Here is one great example of what might make it onto your tv in the near future and my own response below.


Chrissy Glickman 


My name is Chrissy & I work at a production company in LA called Matador. We are casting paranormal investigators for a new television show on a major cable network where we will be taking paranormal investigating to the next level!

For this paranormal investigating show, we are putting a different spin on paranormal investigating and we are looking for people and/or teams that would be interested in taking paranormal investigating to the next level by doing it in the nude. This is the REAL NAKED & AFRAID! We will have different teams going to different haunted locations around the country.

We are following this concept because we want to see if people get different readings then then do when you are clothed, if the paranormal world is more eager to communicate when someone is so vulnerable, etc.

All private parts will be blurred out & there will be compensation.

This show is not about putting a bad light, causing drama or making fun of the paranormal. This idea was brought to our company after research on paranormal investigation teams in history doing it in the nude and we want to see if their reasonings for doing it in the nude really do get spirits to communicate easier.

If this is a paranormal challenge you are willing to try, then email me back because I would love to set up a Skype with you asap. Let me know if something like this intrigues you.

Hope to speak further.



my own response.....

Wow and I thought we had already plummed the bottom of the barrow in paranormal/reality trash tv . I should have known better. I cant imagine that this show, if it even makes it on for a whole season would Ever, Ever do anything positive for the paranormal community or to advance it in any way. To put it bluntly, I feel only media whores would entertain the notion of participating in such a show. Short sighted ones at that, as any credibility you may have had before this would be completely blown. I would actually watch a paranormal spoof porno/horror film built around this premise any day before watching an actual show based on this idea.  

  Marty Myers

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Happy Halidays and news/updates for the new year at Lost and Found Ohio

Happy Holidays everyone

    I hope all of you have a wonderfull winter/holiday break coming up. We have a bit of news to share, Lost and Found Ohio is going to be upgrading the website and photo galleries here in the next month or two! we have not been abe to upload pictures to the site for most of this year which has really bummed us out but we will soon be able to put up more fresh content next year including more cemetery tour videos! I am going to be off of the site thru Christmas but we will still be checking our email so if you need to get ahold of us drop us a message.

  I will also be down at the Old Haunted Licking County jail a couple times this month including helping host the 2nd Paranormal Lockdown there this weeekend details at  and we will have a public hunt January 3rd there so if you want in check the website and get your tickets. 

    I will be joining my UPP fellow paranormal investigators for a residencial investigation this month as well so there are still things going on here at Lost and Found Ohio and at the United Paranormal Project

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The First President of The United States Unmarked Grave

To underscore just how forgetfull we can be as a nation here is a little know fact the first American president has been so overlooked and forgotten that today his grave is unmarked and under a parking lot.

The forgotten first president   Hint: It wasn’t George Washington

Top Line 
By Rick Klein, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps

Original Article:

Here’s a Thanksgiving pop quiz: Who was the nation’s first president?

If you answered George Washington, pass the gravy and get ready for a history lesson. It was actually John Hanson, a founding father whose name is largely forgotten in the pages of American history – until now.

“They were both first presidents. We've had two governments,” said Peter Michael, a descendent of Hanson’s who is working to revive his memory as the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the precursor to the Constitution.

“George Washington was very famously the first president of our second government under the Constitution,” Michael told “Top Line” during a recent interview outside a replica of Hanson’s historic home in Frederick, Maryland. “But for eight years before the birth of that second government, we had an original government chartered under the Articles of Confederation. It had its presidents, the first of whom was John Hanson."

Michael, who has authored a biography about his ancestor’s life and also presides over a memorial association in his honor, explained that Hanson played a central role in putting the United States on solid footing in the wake of the Revolutionary War.

“John Hanson and his Congress inherited a blank slate and had to create a government from whole cloth and they did -- and successfully,” Michael said. “If they hadn't, the United States might not have existed."

Under the Articles of the Confederation, the young United States was governed under a single unified government, without separate executive and legislative branches. And Hanson, as an elder statesman at age 66, was nominated by his peers in Congress to lead the fragile new government in 1781.

“The American icons of the Revolutionary period -- Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, [and] others -- looked to John Hanson as the one [who] twice saved the nation and also to Hanson's way with people,” Michael said. “When no one else could do it, he persuaded the six states with the western lands to cede the western lands.”

We also have Hanson to thank for Thanksgiving.

"Thanksgiving, as an observance, had been recognized since the days of the pilgrims,” Michael said. “But it fell to John Hanson to establish Thanksgiving as an official annual observed holiday. It became a paid holiday, and a day off, in the Franklin Roosevelt administration."

Hanson served a one-year term as president and died a year later in 1783.

But in the decades and centuries following his death, Hanson’s memory would be largely forgotten to history. So forgotten, in fact, that his home in Frederick, Maryland, was demolished in the 1980s (a replica has since been built in its place) and his grave, in Prince George’s Country, Maryland, was paved over to make way for a parking lot. The burial site remains unmarked today.

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Man Buys House, Finds Corpse Chained Inside

House comes complete with corpse

Original Article:

By Barbara Liston   Reuters 11/11/2014

ORLANDO Fla.  William Wilson thought it suspicious that the doors of a long-vacant home he bought at auction on Tuesday in southwest Florida were chained from the inside.

Kids next door told him not to be surprised if he found a dead body because they never saw the owner leave.

Still, Wilson said it came as a shock to discover a nearly mummified body lying on the floor of the master bedroom next to the bed.

"It wasn't expected, that's for sure," Wilson told Reuters.

Cape Coral police wrapped yellow crime scene tape around the weathered pink house's overgrown yard. Sergeant Dana Coston said there are no obvious signs of foul play but an investigation is pending.

Wilson said he bought the house for $96,000 after it went to auction because of the owner's failure to pay property taxes for three years. Old droppings from a pet bird suggest it drank out of the toilet before the water supply was turned off, Wilson said, but he did not find any sign of the bird.

He said it appeared the owner had been in the process of packing her belongings.

Wilson said he has learned that two elderly sisters from Venezuela who spoke little English lived in the home and that one died in 2005.

He said the neighborhood kids told him police had been called twice to check on the owner but never did. Coston said police had no record of a call for a well-being check on the woman.

Wilson said he bought the house for his sister-in-law and her family, who moved recently from Cuba.

"She doesn't want it now. She's ... kind of superstitious," he said.

Wilson said he will clean up the house and try to resell it.

"The sad thing was she was there for three years and no family ever showed up to ask what happened," Wilson said.

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Mexico City Running Out of Cemeteries; Drastic Measures Could End Strong Traditions Honoring The Dead

Could Mexicon's celebration of The Day of The Dead, honoring their deceased loved ones, become a thing of the past?

Expanding Mexico City Running Out of Cemeteries

AP  10/28/2014 

Original Article:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Edgardo Galvan watched as two gravediggers shoveled muddy soil from his father's grave until they reached a set of bones mixed with wood chips, the remnants of the coffin he was buried in seven years earlier.

The gravediggers placed the bones in a black plastic bag and handed them to Galvan, who planned to cremate them and put the ashes in a small crypt the family bought in a church.

"I've had to go through two difficult moments, first burying him and now unburying him," the 42-year-old carpenter said as he stood in the San Isidro cemetery in the Mexico City borough of Azcapotzalco.

Mexico's capital is rapidly running out of gravesites and many residents of this growing metropolis of 9 million people have to exhume the remains of their loved ones once the burial rights expire to make room for new bodies. Officials say there is no public land available for new cemeteries.

The lack of cemetery space has prompted the city's legislative assembly to propose a law that would reduce the time a body can remain in a grave and encourage people to cremate the bodies of their love ones, a move that critics say will threaten Mexico's long and rich traditions surrounding burying and celebrating the dead.

Assemblywoman Polimnia Sierra, who proposed the law, said the city's 119 cemeteries only have 71,000 gravesites available and that each year about 30,000 people die in the capital.

"In less than three years (the cemeteries) will be completely filled," said Sierra in defense of the law which was passed by the assembly this summer but sent back by Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera who wanted changes to its language. A vote on the revised law is expected soon.

It would require that the city government educate people about cremation as an option and build more crematoriums — there are currently just two public crematoriums. It would also lower the maximum gravesite tenure from 21 years to 15 years, as long as cemetery rights are paid.

Complicating matters is that the regulations aren't applied consistently, with borough officials administering and sometimes setting their own grave time limits in the cemeteries in their areas. Sierra said there have been cases of cemeteries exhuming graves to bury someone else in as little as one year.

Once exhumed, families commonly put the remains in above-ground niches offered by the cemetery, cremate them, bury them in a different cemetery or if no one claims the remains, they are re-buried at the same grave but underneath the coffin and tombstone of the new body.

While other countries around the world reuse graves, it is a sensitive issue in Mexico where celebrating the dead is still a living part of the culture.

The law has become a tug-of-war between government officials in the center of this sprawling metropolis, which is increasingly growing vertically, and residents of its outer, more rural boroughs who preserve pre-Columbian traditions.

The law's opponents say above-ground mausoleums and crypts don't allow for the traditional Day of the Dead celebrations on Nov. 1 and 2, when Mexicans honor the dead by building elaborate altars on their tombstones, laden with candles, flowers, colorful sugar skulls and the favorite food and drink of the departed. Entire families gather in cemeteries brightened by flickering candles to pray and share memories of their loved ones, whose photos sit on the graves.

Jesus Guzman, a member of the Autonomous Union of Native Towns and Neighborhoods of the Federal District, said many indigenous Mexicans prefer burial and are reluctant to accept cremation.

"Their worldview is not the same as ours," said Guzman of city officials backing the law. "Can you imagine that with the stroke of a pen they can erase All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead? They have no idea what they are doing."

In June, his group blocked a major avenue to protest the law.

In Mexico City's outer boroughs it's still common to see a nightlong wake being held on the patio of a home, then mourners carrying the coffin on their shoulders through traffic-clogged streets toward the cemetery. The processions are often accompanied by brass bands or mariachis.

"What really bothers us is that they don't respect our loved ones. They come a year or two after we bury them, take them out of the grave and bury whoever is next," said Jose Jimenez, who helps administer the San Francisco cemetery in the borough of Magdalena Contreras. "We won't allow them to take away our resources, our cemetery."

At the Azcapotzalco cemetery where Galvan's father was buried, 63,000 older gravesites are sold in perpetuity — burial time limits were established in 1984. Another 22,000 have limited tenure. Some graves have fresh flowers, but many others are overgrown with weeds. Records are kept in old ledgers, some barely legible, and officials say it's unclear how many graves have been abandoned.

Like many Mexicans, Galvan says mausoleums and crypts still seem like a foreign option to him.

His family has bought a crypt in a church in Mexico City's Tlatelolco neighborhood. Galvan said his mother wants her ashes, her husband's ashes, and two of her children's ashes, including his, to be in the same crypt.

"I told her that's fine, my ashes can be in that crypt but first I want to be buried, I want to be in the ground for at least a year," he said.

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Custom Urns Courtesy of Company's 3-D Printer

Custom Urns Courtesy of Company's 3-D Printer

October 25th 2014

Original Article:

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota startup is using a 3-D printer to create custom urns shaped like objects that were important to the person whose remains they hold.

The Eden Prairie-based Foreverence offers urns that are made with a ceramic material that looks different than the plastic material typically produced by a 3-D printer. The process takes nearly an entire day, starting with about nine hours of printing, and then followed by several hours of touchups, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Each urn is unique and can take the form of just about anything, including ballet slippers, cars and instruments.

"I'm fascinated by the endless possibilities," company CEO Pete Saari said.

It has even made an urn shaped like the signature hats worn by rock band Devo when co-founder Bob Casale died earlier this year. Foreverence offered Casale's family the urn and ended up making two for them. Casale's family told the company that it was "the first joyous moment in a dark period of time for them," Saari said.

Foreverence sells its urns, which typically cost thousands of dollars, through funeral directors.

"We want funeral directors to keep conversations focused on legacy," said Saari, whose privately held company launched five months ago. "What was important to the deceased? What was symbolic of a life, a dream, the pursuit of a passion?"

The urn is created by a ceramic-composite material that's fed into the 3-D printer in a powdered form. Its shape gradually takes form with coloring that bonds each layer together, and staff members put the final touches on the urns.


Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press,

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Licking County Jail Ghost Tour October 25th

The Old Licking County Jail opens its doors for a Halloween Haunted Ghost Walk Tour all over the Jail. You meet some of the Infamous Murderers of the past face to face.... And get to meet some of the Jails Suicide Victims just before they end their lives. And of course a jail wouldn't be a real jail without the Spirits of some Psychotic Inmates. This is not for the feint of heart. Can you make it through the 1 hour tour without running for the door? Ha ha, we will see. 

Two Dates Set For Halloween Ghost Walks at the 

Old Haunted Licking County Jail for October 2014 

Sat. October 18th & Sat. October 25th

Read Everything Before Buying Ticket

Tours are approximately 1 hour long. You may show up anytime between 7:00PM and 11:30PM. Bring a small flashlight with you. New groups will start about every 10 minutes. The last group in will be at 11:30PM, so nobody will be admitted after 11:30PM. Kids 17 and Under must be accompanied by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). No Exceptions!

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Hart Island, New York One of The Strangest & Largest American Potter's Fields/Cemeteries

Hart Island, New York One of The Strangest & Largest American Potter's Fields/Cemeteries

Hart Island Bronx New York is one of the strangest potters fields in America and has an interesting history of being used as a dumping ground for the unwanted living and the dead for New York for over a hundred years. Check out the link to see even more about it here   and to visit an extremely cool site for long forgotten places and pictures  

The primary focus of Hart Island has been being a potter's field for the city from 1869 to the present day. The first burial was that of Louisa Van Slyke, a 24-year old orphan who died at Charity Hospital and with no one to claim her body. The island has since become the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world, with over 1 million bodies interred over 101 acres. Along with the unknown and indigent, the people buried here also may not have been able to afford a private funeral. A burial on Hart Island is vaguely defined as a "City Burial" on official paperwork. Unknown adults are buried in single plots, and are the most often disinterred and identified using medical data from surviving relatives. Identified adults are in 3-sectioned trenches of 48 bodies for easier disinterment; their caskets are stacked three high and two across. Children (mostly stillborn / infants) are buried in trenches of 1,000 bodies, as they are very rarely disinterred. Their caskets stack five high and usually twenty across, depending on the size. The first child to die of AIDS in NYC was buried in isolation on the southern tip of the island, and was given a special grave stone marked "SC-B1, 1985" (SP = special child, B1 = Baby 1). Amputated body parts are also buried on the island, in boxes labeled "limbs."

The island takes in about 1,500 bodies a year, and there is a constant struggle to find more burial space. In the past, the trenches were re-used after 25-50 years of decomposition; workers would dig up the decayed remains and toss aside any remaining bones to make room for the pine boxes. This practice has ended, but now there's less room, and the abandoned but historic buildings are being torn down to make more space for new burials. The grisly work of the trenching is performed by Rikers Island inmates, given a 50-cent an hour wage, and under close supervision by DOC officers. A single ferry operated by the NYC Department of Transportation services the island, departing from Fordham St. on City Island where a morgue truck carries the bodies to be buried in simple pine boxes.

Accessing records is an arduous and sometimes impossible task. Trench numbers were bizarrely duplicated and changed over the years, making identifying the plots difficult. Records were stored on hand-written ledgers, many of which had been destroyed in a 1977 fire where about 25,000 people were forgotten. Even after the fire, records were still kept on one hand-written ledger on the island, until recently. The paperwork is often illegible or improperly photocopied, which obliterates access to thousands of burial records. Melinda Hunt, an artist who started photographing the toppled grave markers in the early 1990s, started amassing a database that is considered more complete than official records, made through a Freedom of Information Act request. She has also published a book called Hart Island and produced a film called Hart Island: An American Cemetery; these and the database all can be found at the Hart Island Project website.

Access to the island is extremely restricted; relatives can visit but must be accompanied by a corrections officer, and are very restricted to where they are able to go. Cell phones, cameras and the press are banned from the island. Getting caught on Hart Island is considered trespassing on prison property, and carries a sentence of 2 years in prison. Efforts are being made to transfer the property from the Department of Corrections to the Parks Department, and possibly loosen some of the visitor restrictions.

The island is home to an estimated 900,000 bodies as of 2012. For more information be sure to check out the New York Correction History Society, and of course, The Hart Island Project.

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Woman Says She Dug Up Dad's Grave 'with respect'

Woman Says She Dug Up Dad's Grave 'with respect'

Oct 3rd 2014
The Caledonian-Record

LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — A lawyer for a woman accused of ransacking the New Hampshire grave of her father in search of his "real will" wants a judge to suppress her written statement to police that she dug it up "with respect" and he "would be OK with it."

Prosecutors allege Melanie Nash, 52, conspired with others to remove her father's remains from the Colebrook Village Cemetery in May. The vault of businessman Eddie Nash, who died in 2004, was found cracked with the casket opened and his remains searched through.

The Caledonian Record reports Melanie Nash's lawyer, William Albrecht, filed a motion last month arguing statements made after her arrest and before she was advised of her Miranda rights should be excluded because they violate her right against self-incrimination.

Coos County Attorney John McCormick said Nash showed her "free will" in coming to police and waiving her Miranda rights.

Police believe the casket was pulled out after Melanie Nash commented about her father being buried with "the real will." A police affidavit said she didn't find a will, only a pack of cigarettes in her father's hand.

Nash told police she did not receive anything when her father died and had been thinking of digging up the grave for years to prove her sister, Susie Nash, "hid the will." Susie Nash has said there was only one will when her father's estate plan was done in 1995 and everyone involved knew about it.

In her June 11 written statement to police, Melanie Nash wrote that she met up with others to go to the cemetery to go dig up her father's grave. Four people have been indicted in the case.

She wrote: "All this was done for the right reasons and I know my father would be OK with it."

She ended her statement with: "What we all did was to dig up my father's coffin, Eddie Nash, looking for documents. We did it with respect."

Nash, who died of a heart attack at 68, started an equipment business in 1979 still run by his family. He's since been reburied.

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