Six Weird Tales of Unusual Romance

Spring is almost here — why not thaw the chill of winter with some heartwarming tales? (Well, bizarrely heartwarming tales. And some aren’t that heartwarming. Look, this is a Weird Roundup, okay? It’s gonna be, uh, weird.) We’ve curated six more of the weirdest, most WTF-inducing items sure to send you into a google tailspin. Get your tin foil hats ready!

  1. In 1892, an American and a Mexican loved the same woman; naturally, they proposed a tarantula duel to determine who would win her affection.

The two men sequestered themselves in a dark room with more than a dozen tarantulas and two scorpions, a sort of old-timey “Fear Factor” stunt in the name of love. The duel ended when the Mexican man felt something pinch his hand and he fled the room; he’d simply struck a protruding nail, but hey, he took a risk for love!


  1. Everyone mourns in their own way, but Dr. Carl Tanzler took things too far. He became obsessed with one of his patients and, after her passing, visited her mausoleum, stole her body and bound it with wire, wax and various preserving agents so he could always be by her side. 

Love is a many-splendored thing … when it’s consensual, and between the living. This German-born doctor dressed Elena de Hoyos’ body in a wedding gown and created a wig for her from her own hair, as well as a plaster “face” to cover her rotting flesh. Her family caught wind of his horrific crime and he was promptly arrested, but he didn’t serve any time, as it wasn’t illegal to steal corpses in Florida in 1940. (Of course this happened in Florida.)


  1. Bummer and Lazarus, two stray dogs who roamed the 1860s San Francisco streets and became beloved local heroes, were reported to be “two dogs with but a single bark, two tails that wagged as one” by the San Francisco Bulletin.

Even Mark Twain wrote about these two. We have Grumpy Cat and that dog who was really good at riding a skateboard; in the 1860s, Californians had Bummer and Lazarus to anthropomorphize. Legend has it that the two were so beloved by townsfolk that when a newbie dogcatcher ensnared Lazarus, “an angry mob demanded his release until the city supervisor gave in …”


  1. A 12thcentury plank discovered in the ‘80s is believed to be evidence of a “communal loo.” The family that poos together, stays together?

Reminiscent of SNL’s “Love Toilet” sketch — “ … why not share the most intimate moment of them all?” — this wooden board was discovered “ … over a cesspit close to the River Fleet,” according to curator Kate Sumnall of the Museum of London. Although somewhat off-putting when you think about the nitty-gritty details, it is strangely sweet to think about folks walking down to the loo together, perhaps hand in hand, gazing upon their local river-turned-cesspit.


  1. In 1959, Burt Pugach paid a man to throw lye on his ex-paramour Linda Riss, blinding her; 15 years later, after Pugach was released from prison, they married and remained together for decades.

Is it too inappropriate to make a “love is blind” joke? Well, there you have it. In a strange twist of fate, or more likely some combination of Stockholm syndrome and internalized domestic violence, these two were inseparable for years. As a friend of the couple told People magazine, “Linda and Burt live for each other. They would both like to undo whatever damage they can.”


  1. Have the icy cockles of your heart been sufficiently thawed? Kinda? Don’t worry, here’s a creepy Reddit thread to spur some feelings of dread and misery. 

Look, this list couldn’t be entirely positive … ish… it’s just not right. This Reddit thread, where users shared the strangest, spookiest thing they’ve ever seen, will erase any warm fuzzies that may have entered your corporeal flesh sack. I mean, body. I mean, heart. Whatever you guys call it. Just enjoy the damn thread, ya filthy animals!


Freaked out once again? Me, too! Leave your favorite WTF stories in the comments so we can keep this weird train runnin’!



Katie Conley

Katie Conley is an editor at DOPE Magazine. She enjoys watching schlocky movies, listening to comedy and true crime podcasts, singing karaoke and napping in inopportune places.

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