+
Pop Culture

Collector finds locks of hair in a book from the 1800s and then discovers who the people were

Why did people save hair in the 1800s?

lock of hair, hair art, dyer ghoul house

A lock of hair, reputedly from King George III.

In modern times we memorialize our loved ones by saving old photographs, holding onto their jewelry, or keeping their ashes in an urn. But, according to Artsy, before we had photographs of people to remember them by, people often saved their hair.

It was impossible to save someone’s rotting flesh before modern preservation techniques were developed, plus it’s pretty disgusting. So hair was the only part of the body that one could keep. Human hair can retain its color and texture for years after someone has passed, so it's a durable material to turn into remembrance art.

“The keeping and saving of hair for future use in jewelry or other commemorative craft (such as wreaths) was common,” Karen Bachmann wrote, according to Artsy. The practice was common in Victorian England and it was brought across the pond to America’s frontier.


Hair art.

via Wikimedia Commons

“The Victorians were also famously sentimental,” Joanna Ebenstein, founder of New York’s Morbid Anatomy Library and Gift Shop told Artsy. “Hair art, which could be used to commemorate the living or dead beloved, perfectly merges the fashion for mourning and sentimentality."

TikTok user Christina Dyer, who runs The Dyer Ghoul House, which specializes in gothic content, went viral recently after a video she shared on the platform received more than 1.9 million views. The video shows her opening a book from the 1800s that she had purchased, only to find around eight folded pieces of paper with names and dates containing pieces of hair.

"I pretty much have a whole family!" Dyer wrote in a subsequent video.

@thedyerghoulhouse

Question is what do i do with them? 🫣 #victorianhair #victorianmourning

A lot of people thought the hair was taken for nefarious reasons. "Me thinking it’s trophies from a serial killer in the 1800s," ultraoldsoul commented.

However, multiple people remarked that it was a common practice for people to save their loved ones’ hair and turn it into a keepsake. "That was a common thing to do in that times, to preserve that person's memory, or they gifted a piece of their hair as a sign of affection," Jennifer Marie commented.

After the video went viral, Dyer shared another one showing what she planned to do with the hair. “I was drawn to a lock of the mother's hair, so of course I framed it," Dyer wrote. In the video, she shares a frame with "Mother 1862" written on it. "Now I need to decide what to do with the others," she adds.

@thedyerghoulhouse

Replying to @she_horror Update! 🕊 #victorianmourning #victorianhair

After finding the hair, Dyer did some research and discovered the names of three of the people whose hair was in the book.

"Here are three of the people whose hair I found inside the antique book," she wrote in a follow-up video. The good news was that they all lived long lives for the era. “Walter died aged 78, Constance 77, and Lawrence 57. If my sources are correct!” she wrote.

@thedyerghoulhouse

Replying to @elviratsquirrel Constance is a beauty. 🕊 #victorianmourning #victorianera #victorianhair

It’s tantalizing to wonder if the people whose hair she found have any idea where their last mortal remains turned up. However, they probably would have a really hard time understanding the internet and what it means to “go viral.”

The wonderful thing is that—although some may find it a bit morbid—Dyer is treating the hair with respect, just as the person who placed it in the book intended. Plus, it’s always wise to curry favor with the dead.

Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

Keep ReadingShow less

A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

Keep ReadingShow less

Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

Keep ReadingShow less