Who dreamt up the stunt of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Through the 1800s, countless daredevils and would-be heroes attempted all sorts of stunts at the Falls and in the rapids below. But the first to go over the Falls—and survive—did not fit the usual mold of a thrill-seeking daredevil. She was a 63-year-old music teacher named Annie Edson Taylor, who quickly became a national celebrity. Continue reading

On an isolated farm just outside LaPorte, Indiana, some unspeakable acts took place in the early 1900s. They remained deep and deadly secrets until a package of love letters was discovered in an immigrant’s cabin in South Dakota—letters that revealed the shockingly murderous intent of a widowed farm wife named Belle Gunness. Continue reading

Is this bizarre, rambling Victorian mansion haunted by the spirits of gunshot victims—and by the ghost of an eccentric heiress who inherited both a fortune and a curse? A closer look at hidden facts of the mansion’s history reveals a different tale. Continue reading

Like a shapeshifter, ever-changing her imagined character and physical appearance, the spirit of Marie Laveau refuses to fade away. In New Orleans’s famously eerie St. Louis Cemetery #1, you may recognize a past that you have made for yourself. Continue reading