Archive for Death

The Makings of a Mortician?

Posted in Creepy, Death, Life with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by Stephanie Selby

MorticianSo posts are finally starting to pick up! This is the first proper one in quite some time. I hope I can keep this up.

It’s this stint I’m doing for Americorp that has kept me away; basically I’m tutoring kids with their reading skills. It’s nice to finally have a more long-term job that will help with paying off some of my student loans, but it’s very time consuming. Seems the difficulty of working over forty hours a week, plus having a social life, plus swimming on a regular basis has seriously cut into my ability to write. When I manage to have some free time I find myself taking a nap instead of doing something useful.

It’s not as bad as it sounds at all! I’ve learned a few things about myself volunteering with children. Mostly that I like kids. When I first started I was really worried I would discover that I was the kind of person that don’t enjoy their company. While they can be overwhelming at times and not everyone’s cut out for it, I found I can take it in stride. I especially enjoy the kindergarteners. Their energy can be difficult to contend with, but have got to be the funniest kids in the whole darn school.

For some time I was thinking about becoming a teacher. The kids are great, you get a lot of time off, and even though the pay isn’t great I’m not looking to get rich anyway. On the other hand there’s the parents, the administration, evaluations, state-run testing… Those parts of teaching are not so fun.

The truth is in order to be a good teacher and deal with all the nonsense, you really have to be dedicated to the job. As a writer who’s looking for a fulfilling day job in case things don’t work out, it didn’t sound like the profession for me. I know I’ll be happy to raise up some kids of my own someday, but the drive to teach kids isn’t high on my list of passions. At least not as high as a teacher’s should be.

So what are my aspirations? Writing’s the main goal, but what if I never become the next Stephen King or Neil Gaiman? What will I do then? I believe I may have stumbled across the answer. Considering my interests it’s weird why I haven’t considered it sooner.

Not too long ago a Reddit user studying to become a mortician posted an AMA on /r/creepy. I was intrigued by the user’s answers and delved further by looking into a YouTube channel they recommended. From there I became acquainted with Caitlin Doughty and her Ask a Mortician series. I binge-watched her videos and picked up her book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory (I may write more about it if the fancy strikes me). Suffice to say working with the dead sound like a fascinating and fulfilling career choice!

So the plan is to save some cash while I’m volunteering with Americorp, then find a job in the funeral industry that doesn’t require a license. Perhaps transporting bodies or operating a cremation oven like Doughty herself. After some time I’ll likely figure out if the profession is right for me and if so, try to get into a school with a mortuary science program. I fully intend to continue writing throughout this process and I’ll keep you up to date with my thoughts on the matter. Here’s to a new journey!

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Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Death, Science, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2015 by Stephanie Selby

I must apologize for the unfinished posts that went up this week. It’s been pretty busy for me and I let my duties with this blog slide much more than I should have. I’ll be more careful in the future and I’ll be sure to make it up to you.

This week’s video is a look into how the human body decomposes! PLEASE do not watch this if you are especially squeamish or while you are eating. I won’t be held liable if you vomit on your computer. Forensics

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Apocalypse, Science, Uncategorized, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Another Friday has come to share a new video! So what if the planet suddenly stopped spinning?  The results aren’t pretty.

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Animation, Death, Poetry, Uncategorized, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

This week our delve into the creepy part of YouTube takes us to a whimsical animated list of all kinds of things that will kill you. Someone working for CollegeHumor is very talented! Have a great weekend!

Jeff the Killer Reboot Part 2

Posted in Creepypasta, Family, Short Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

So here’s part two of the Jeff the Killer Reboot. I know it’s a long time coming, but I plan to keep this tale updated through October, so you can expect to see more. You can read part one here. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you think!

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“Hi, I’m Barbara!” she said, smiling cheerfully. Her white blouse ruffled in the early autumn breeze, along with her short, curly hair; a quaint, yet unremarkable appearance. As Jeff observed, he couldn’t help but think that this woman would be forgotten in seconds if, for some reason, she inexplicably disappeared.

“Just thought I’d stop by to introduce ourselves. This is my son-” She gave the boy a slight nudge, “Billy, say hi to our new neighbors.”

“Hi,” was all he bothered to say before weaseling out of his mother’s grip and running back across the street to play in his own yard.

“Oh! Well it’s wonderful to meet you,” Jeff’s mother replied with a warm smile. It seemed to Jeff she was putting on her charms already. Jeff picked up the last boxes and took them to the front porch before his mother’s pleasantries would make him want to vomit.

“So what do you think?” Liu asked as Jeff walked up the steps.

As Jeff set the boxes down, he turned and looked at his mother and the neighbor as they chattered like birds. “I think she’ll be the most popular woman in the neighborhood by the end of the week,” he said with a slight hint of sarcasm.

Liu snickered. “Always the optimist, huh?”

Liu’s grin didn’t last for long though, as they both overheard what the new neighbor had to say. “You know next weekend Billy’s going to be having a birthday party. Would you and your boys like to come?”

“Of course they would love to!” their mother exclaimed. “I bet they would love to meet all of Billy’s friends!”

The boys looked on bewildered. How could their mom be getting them into this nonsense? Still, neither had time to voice their objections.

Before long she had discussed the arrangements and said her goodbyes to the other woman. As she made her way back to the house Jeff and Liu were ready to give her a piece of their minds.

“Mom, what the hell?” Liu asked annoyed as they entered their new home. “Why’d you invite us to some little kid’s party?”

“Don’t ya think we’re a little too old to befriend that kid anyway?” Jeff added in agreement.

“Both of you stop complaining – and don’t use that word Liu!” their mother replied. Liu sighed and rolled his eyes.

Jeff’s mother stared he sons down as she made her point. “Boys, we just moved here; it’s important that we make a good first impression as soon as possible. More of our neighbors and other people in the community are likely going to be at that party. It’s vital that we all be there to show that we’re a good family. I’m not going to end up some kind of social pariah, and neither are the rest of you. We’re going to that party and that’s final.”

Neither son made an effort to reply. Living their entire lives with her, they knew when it was futile to argue when she was this determined. Liu turned went inside, slamming the door behind him. Jeff kept his head down and slowly followed.

“You’re going to be living here for a while guys,” she called after them. “You need to start fitting in!”

*                                                 *                                                 *

Jeff plopped himself on his bed and stared at the ceiling for the longest time. Oftentimes, all he needed was a little peace and quiet to quiet his angry moods like the one he had right now, but this time the feelings lingered longer than he liked. When things were like this he could get himself into real trouble – the kind of trouble that his mother didn’t like discussing with others.

When he was a kid his moods were harder for him to control. Jeff’s dad once found several dead songbirds hidden in his sock drawer. That’s when he had to go see Dr. Radcliffe for a while. He didn’t want to repeat that experience anytime soon.

Luckily the mood soon abated and Jeff rose to finish unpacking his things. The work helped as well, and he became so engrossed in his task that he almost didn’t hear his mother call him for dinner.

 

The 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Posted in Dangerous Diseases, In the News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

ebola-disease1For those of you living under a rock on the surface of Mars with your eyes closed and your ears covered, there’s an outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and now Nigeria. New cases have sprung up in Lagos, one of Nigeria’s largest cities. So far there have been 1700 suspected or confirmed cases, has claimed 932 lives, and two American aid workers have also contracted the disease.

Now of course this is a terrifying, tragic event for anyone affected. I’m not here to make light or revel in the very real death and despair of fellow human beings, but I’d be lying it I said this wasn’t interesting for me. Ever since I was young I’ve found it fascinating how dangerous diseases like Ebola make us mortals react. One of my favorite classes in college was a disease history class where I learned about how it has affected human culture, medical practices, and overall views of mortality. I’m curious to see how this outbreak affects our world in the long term.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ebola, here are the basics. Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever, a type of disease that causes internal and external bleeding, and has a mortality rate of up to 90%. It’s spread through bodily secretions like blood, sweat, tears, semen and more, easily contaminating surfaces as well. Oftentimes it’s family members and medical professionals contracting the disease because of their exposure to a patient or family member. There is no vaccine and no effective treatment or cure.

For more detailed information, I recommend checking out both the WHO’s and the CDC’s website about the outbreak.

According to the news, the reaction of populations affected by the disease has played a part in its spread. Families naturally look after their own when illness strikes, and many are unwilling to put them under the care of strangers. Burial practices in West Africa also require mourners have close physical contact with the body, like touching, washing, and kissing. Rumors about the intentions of medical professionals have also caused tensions. Many West Africans have little faith in their governments and mistrust Westerners. Some fear that the disease has been brought to them by Westerners, others fear that if they give up their sick relatives, they will never be seen again.

Conspiracy theories also abound, from doctors experimenting on the sick to stealing organs and body parts, to officials profiting from the outbreak by pocketing foreign aid money. Another rumor circulating is Ebola is some kind of bioweapon spread through the water. Even accusations of witchcraft are swirling around.

It’s pretty sad to see how a lack of trust can erode the efforts of medicine and government. Apparently West African governments need to work much harder to regain the trust of their people. It’s impossible to say if the West could ever achieve that.

So is there any way that this virus could pose a greater threat to the rest of the world? There’s a lot of banter going around about that question. The CDC has been assuring the public that the virus poses little danger for other countries due to it’s manner of transmission. However, Mother Nature can be vicious sometimes, and the more the disease spreads the more likely it could mutate and gain new traits. Much like how flu strains change every year, Ebola could become more virulent or become airborne, or resistant to treatment. The chance is slim, but in the realm of possibility.

In any case, the worse Ebola outbreak in history still rages on.

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Animals, Dangerous Diseases, Death, Film, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , on July 4, 2014 by Stephanie Selby
Happy 4th of July everybody!

Happy 4th of July everybody!

This week’s video shows how humans die of rabies. Interesting to see, but please be advised if you’re easily disturbed; this is a real person dying. Enjoy the holiday, have a great weekend, and for the love of all that is holy please go see a doctor if you’re bitten by a wild animal!