Monday, October 10, 2011
Real Life Creepy Out-Horrors Fiction
October SpookFest continues with a real-life creepy tale that makes my skin crawl. I've read stacks of fictional horror stories, but non-fiction ranks consistently higher on my weird-out meter. When something shocking has actually happened, it makes it more terrifying.
There is much to see if you travel to Key West, Florida. The end of U.S. Highway 1. Ernest Hemingway's haunts. Loads of fishing boats. Swimming dinners by the score. And the place where a German x-ray technician kept the corpse of his great love.
Karl Tänzler was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1877. He moved his family to Cuba in 1926, and then came to Zephyrhills, Florida in 1927. He left his family there and found employment as a radiologist at a U.S. Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida. By then, he had assumed the name Count Carl von Cosel.
In 1930, Maria Elena Milagro "Helen" de Hoyos (1909–1931) was brought by her mother to the Marine Hospital for examination. Elena was the daughter of a local cigar manufacturer. Von Cosel recognized her as a woman who had appeared in "visions" to him while he was still living in Germany. He fell passionately in love with her.
Elena was diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis. Von Cosel vowed to cure Elena, and he attempted several novel, but ineffectual, x-ray treatments. Ultimately, Elena passed over on October 25, 1931. Von Cosel purchased an above-ground mausoleum as Elena's last resting place. Or was it?
To discover what happened next in this macabre tale of obsessive love, read the dramatic biography, Von Cosel, by Tom Swicegood. We have a book trailer that provides a few clues.
This book is definitely NOT for the faint of heart. The author delved deeply into the media reports of the day and other accounts by the persons involved, or their relatives who were close to the scene. It will shock and appall you. But that's what true crime/horror literature is supposed to do, right?
Although this title is not currently available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog (I believe it is on-order at my Library), there are two other items specifically about this subject. Click here to take a look. Swicegood's book is available from various online booksellers, such as Amazon.com.
Fact is Definitely Stranger Than Fiction,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Horror News Beat
P.S. I'll post my musical closer separately. It's worth the wait, believe you moi.