Sarah Ann Henley: the suicide girl who fluttered to safety

The beautiful England’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, originally designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, stands 101 metres above the River Avon and spans a 400-metre wide gorge. Located just outside the city of Bristol, it has been considered an engineering marvel ever since it was opened in 1864….but also a magnet for people wanting to commit suicide. And this is not an urban legend, because official figures reveal that there were 206 suicides from the bridge between 1974 and 2007, and the chances of survival for anyone taking…

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The bloody history of Staten Island’s Kreischer Mansion

Sitting just off the Staten Island’s poetically named Arthur Kill Road is Kreischer Mansion, a lovely Victorian home that is said to be one of the most haunted places in all of New York, which may actually be true if one is referring to being haunted by memories of murder and death. It was one of two mansions built by German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer for two of his three sons. The surviving house belonged to son Edward Kreischer, the other to his brother Charles. When the brickmaker Balthasar Kreischer came…

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The last execution in Iceland: a mysterious murder case that’s intrigued a country for nearly 200 years

For centuries, some small farms near the water on Iceland’s Vatnsnes peninsula are scattered among the grassy fields and rocky hills, more or less content to be living at the edge of the world. Cherry on the cake, the peninsula is known for a black basalt rock formation that’s said to be a petrified troll, and for the colonies of seals that come to sun themselves on the beach. On current days, this surreal zone is still almost as peaceful—and lonely—as it was the night in March 1828 when a…

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