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Arbol Maldito: The Cursed Tree of Mexico

In the Mexican state of Michoacan, in the early part of the 20th century, there grew an immense tree on the Haciendita Ranch that was believed by locals to be cursed. It was a tree that played a role in numerous fatal accidents and was planted by a man who was allegedly in league with the devil.

By the dawn of the 20th century it was believed that this tree-- known to the locals as arbol maldito, or "cursed tree"-- was already 75 years old, and had been planted by a man who, according to local legend, had been swallowed up by the earth as divine punishment for his many sins.

The planter of the tree, it is said, never set foot inside of a church. Even worse, he refused to abide by the Mexican custom of having a picture or likeness of a saint inside his house. He never gave to charity, and never went out of his way to offer a kindness to anyone in need.

It was rumored that this evil man had been responsible for several murders around the Zamora district but, because of an unholy…
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An interesting patent medicine ad from 1905

We're pretty sure that's not how appendicitis happens, but we're willing to bet this rather macabre Cascarets Liver Tonic ad from 1905 scared the crap out of people and sent them running to the druggist.

Haunted Newport: The House that Refused to Keep Quiet

 "And ever since then, when the clock strikes two,
She walks unbidden from room to room.
And the air is filled that she passes through
With a subtle, sad perfume."


So ends a poem by 19th century author Bret Harte, who chose the above words to describe a haunted house in Newport, Rhode Island.

Since the age of railroad tycoons and steel barons, the coastal city of Newport has been the resort town of choice for the upper crust of American society. The likes of the Vanderbilts and Astors built their mammoth "summer cottages" there, and the city of Newport also boasts a strong naval and military heritage dating back to Colonial times.

With its long naval history, it is not surprising that many of our nation's top admirals and naval commanders have called Newport home. In the early 20th century, the city was home to a Navy hero by the name of Hugh Sweeney. In December of 1905, Sweeney became a national celebrity after he sailed the heavily-damaged gunboat Wasp safely …