“I…. Am…. A Man!”

Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

On August 5,1862, Joseph Carey Merrick (who was often incorrectly referred to as John Merrick) was born in Leicester, England. His parents were Joseph Rockley Merrick and Mary Jane Merrick. During his early years in life, Joseph Carey began to suffer from extreme facial and body deformities. He appeared to have thick and lumpy skin. His lips became rather enlarged, and a bony lump started to grow on his forehead. One arm and both feet also grew to be enlarged and during his childhood he had fallen, damaging his left hip which caused him permanent lameness.

At the age of only eleven years old, Joseph Carey’s mother passed away. The cause of her death was bronchopneumonia. His father remarried not long after. Wrongly, he and his new wife rejected Joseph, treating him like an outcast. Joseph Carey was forced to leave home, finding shelter at the residence of his uncle, Charles Merrick.

At thirteen years old, Joseph gained employment working at Freeman’s Cigar Factory in Leicester. And then, in December 1879, at seventeen years of age, he joined the Leicester Union Workhouse. A few years later in 1884, Joseph got in contact with Sam Torr who was a showman. Joseph suggested that Sam should put Joseph up as an exhibit because of his unusual deformities.

Torr agreed on the proposition and along with a group of men who managed Joseph, they came up with Joseph’s exhibit’s name of “The Elephant Man”. After touring for some time, Joseph made a trip to London to be put on exhibit in a penny gaff located on Whitechapel Road which was rented by Tom Norman who was also a showman. Norman’s shop was located right across the street from the London Hospital.

Frederick Treves, who was a surgeon from the hospital, visited Norman’s shop. Dr. Treves automatically showed interest in Joseph Carey Merrick. The doctor invited Joseph to the hospital to be examined and photographed. This made Joseph feel uncomfortable, like an animal, and he refused to return to the London Hospital. This angered Dr. Treves and oddly enough, Norman’s shop was closed by local authorities. Upset by it all, Joseph decided to seek another opportunity elsewhere and joined a gentleman by the name of Sam Roper who owned a traveling circus that toured throughout Europe.

As time went on, Joseph was unfortunately robbed in Belgium, abandoned in Brussels, and finally made his way back to the London Hospital. Dr. Treves allowed Joseph to stay the remainder of his life at the hospital, free room and board. With daily visits from Dr. Treves, the two men quickly formed a remarkable friendship. Even the wealthy elite, including Alexandra, Princess of Wales visited Joseph.

And then, on April 11, 1890, Joseph Carey Merrick sadly died at the age of twenty-seven years old of asphyxia which is a condition where the body is seriously deprived of oxygen. It was believed that he was awake, attempting to get up from his bed just prior to his death. He was found stretched across his bed with a dislocated neck. Perhaps the weight of his head was too much for his neck to support. His skeletal remains can be found on display in the Royal London Hospital, which is a large educational facility in London, England.

It’s said that one of Joseph Carey Merrick’s favorite poems was:

“Tis true my form is something odd,                                                                               but blaming me is blaming God.                                                                                Could I create myself anew,                                                                                               I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole                                                                                      or grasp the ocean with a span,                                                                                         I would be measured by the soul.                                                                                 The mind’s the standard of the man.”

 

 

“I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a man!” ~ Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here is the artwork that I created in honor of Joseph Carey Merrick simply titled, “The Elephant Man”. Prints, pillows, blankets and even stationary…. available only at Fine Art America!

(“The Elephant Man” ~ by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints, tote bags, coffee mugs and so much more available only at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-elephant-man-sheila-renee-parker.html!)

 

Advertisements

“Spooky Random Fact: #18”

“Spooky Random Fact: #18”

“The Unknown Woman of the Seine”, or more beautifully known as “L’Inconnue de la Seine”. 

“Who was she?”, you may ask. Well, back in the late 1880s a young woman’s body was pulled out of the Seine River located at the Quai du Louvre in Paris. The local officials theorized that the cause of death was suicide since there was no evidence of foul play. Now here’s where the story gets a little strange. It was alleged that the Paris morgue’s pathologist at the time was so completely awestruck by the young woman’s beauty that he created a death mask of her face. Kinda creepy, right?!

And as if that wasn’t disturbing enough…. Apparently the pathologist wasn’t the only one who was charmed by the vision because a large amount of copies were made of the unknown beauty’s death mask throughout the years. As macabre as it may sound, the copies rapidly made their way in the fashion of Parisian Bohemian society. This mysterious belle has even been the inspiration that has led to the creation of countless literary works.

Did ya know that her beauty was so captivating that it even….. Well, ya gotta read more at L’Inconnue de la Seine 😉

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

TGI…. the Weekend!

Happy Saturday, one and all! Have a fab weekend and as always…. Be blessed! 💋

Life Is Beautiful ….. So, Keep Shining! You are definitely loved!!!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

20180908_101653

 

 

 

Art of Yesteryear

Happy Monday and Happy September, everyone! This month is already off to a stormy start as Tropical Storm Gordon begins to make its way up the Gulf Coast. Those of us who live here on Alabama’s coastline are pretty well safe, but will continue to keep a watchful eye on the impending weather. If you’re on the Gulf Coast please be mindful as well and remain safe.

Over the weekend I was going through some of my old things, sorting through what to keep and what to get rid of, and I stumbled upon an old photo album of some art that I painted many moons ago. Not only canvas art, but I’ve also painted on wine bottles, flower vases, etc… anything I can tickle a brush on.

The following photos are of the pieces that I’ve painted. They were so much fun to create. I no longer have them, they’ve all been purchased and placed in loving homes. (Yes, I know I speak fondly of my art, that’s only because I’ve always been so passionate about my creativity! As any artist should be. 🙂 )

 

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

~ Much Love & Light, Sheila 💋

 

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)

 

 

Feeling Blessed!

Happy Friday!! It is a fabulous day, indeed! Just got back from my morning jog and I am feeling extremely pumped, ready to get the day going with lots of motivation flowing through my veins!

 

Want to remind you all how amazing you are and that you are true inspirations who definitely rock!! Thank you for all your positive energy that helps make each day blessed! 💕

 

~ Massive Love & Light….. Sheila 💋

 

 

 

Took this photo while on my morning jog…. Look at that gorgeous sunrise!! 🌞

20180824_064339

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #17”

“Spooky Random Fact: #17”

Ok, everyone’s heard of Casper the Friendly Ghost, right? You know, the cute transparent guy who floats around through walls? If all the hauntings were as adorable as him, then that would be pretty amazing and all the little kiddies wouldn’t be so afraid of the things that go bump in the night.

Well, let’s take a step back and face reality here. Some hauntings can be pretty frightening and down right mind-numbing. Did you know that there are actually two known types of hauntings? Yes, intelligent and residual…

An intelligent haunting is when the spirits can interact with the living, a type of energy that DOES have consciousness. These spirits may find ways of communication much like the ways discussed in my previous blog titled, The Afterlife ~ A Corporeal’s Transition, or the spirits can often communicate through the use of a voice box; a tool that is used to collect electronic voice phenomena (EVPs)……….

The second type of haunting is known as a residual haunting. It’s more like a supernatural experience that resembles a recording of past energy. For instance, like hearing footsteps walking down an empty hallway when no one is there. It’s believed that in a location where someone has released a large amount of energy or heightened emotions were experienced and the energy attaches or “imprints” itself. As a result of the abiding energy, individuals in the future may get to experience seeing a type of “recording” of these events. Some signs of a residual haunting may be the absence of interaction from the spirit. As if the spirit doesn’t acknowledge the presence of the living person. The spirit will almost seem totally oblivious to anything that’s occurring in it’s presence.

I’ve actually encountered both. Read more at Intelligent & Residual Hauntings: What Are They?

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker