Dead Men’s Teeth – Episode 15 – Under The Knife

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFMBUDRUtRQ&w=560&h=315] In Episode 15 of Under The Knife, I explore the horrible reality behind dental practices from the past, including how dentures used to be made from the teeth of executed criminals, exhumed bodies, and sometimes even slaves. Don’t forget you can now pre-order my book THE BUTCHERING ART in the US (click here) and […]

Painful Operations: Removing Bladder Stones before Anesthesia

If you visit the Gordon Museum at Guy’s Hospital in London, you’ll see a small bladder stone—no bigger than 3 centimetres across. Besides the fact that it has been sliced open to reveal concentric circles within, it is entirely unremarkable in appearance. Yet, this tiny stone was the source of enormous pain for 53-year-old Stephen […]

The Wandering Womb: Female Hysteria through the Ages

The word “hysteria” conjures up an array of images, none of which probably include a nomadic uterus wandering aimlessly around the female body. Yet that is precisely what medical practitioners in the past believed was the cause behind this mysterious disorder. The very word “hysteria” comes from the Greek word hystera, meaning “womb,” and arises […]

Houses of Death: Walking the Wards of a Victorian Hospital

The following blog post relates to my forthcoming book THE BUTCHERING ART, which you can pre-order here.  Today, we think of the hospital as an exemplar of sanitation. However, during the first half of the nineteenth century, hospitals were anything but hygienic. They were breeding grounds for infection and provided only the most primitive facilities for the sick and […]

Ten Terrifying Knives from Medical History

I’m excited to announce that I’ve just finished filming the first episode of my new YouTube series, Under The Knife, and will be releasing it very soon (please subscribe to my channel for video updates). Unsurprisingly, that got me thinking about, well, knives. Here’s a list of some rather terrifying knives from our medical past. VALENTIN […]

Disturbing Disorders: Sirenomelia (Mermaid Syndrome)

The sea king down there had been a widower for years, and his old mother kept house for him…she was an altogether praiseworthy person, particularly so because she was extremely fond of her granddaughters, the little sea princesses. They were six lovely girls, but the youngest was the most beautiful of them all. Her skin […]

The Battle of the Tooth Worm

I come across a lot of strange objects in my research: books bound in human skin, prosthetic noses made of silver, iron coffins with safety devices to prevent premature burial. But perhaps one of the strangest objects I’ve seen is the one pictured on the left. This is a depiction of the infamous tooth worm […]