20 comments on “Grasshopper woman. 1874.

  1. Since this had happened only a month prior to the newspaper report we see , it seems odd not nobody went out to verify the facts. Maybe asking Dr,Le Duc if he really performed a post mortem and found the supposed internal grasshoppers or even if this woman existed at all. At this rate we could all be sending in Strange but True ? articles for fun to see who could get the worst published. “I was on the Titanic until rescued by Aliens”.

    • “I was on the Titanic until rescued by Aliens”. I would love very much to read the ‘Prosser News’ broadsheet!

      I doubt that there was much fact checking in those days, after all, who was going to tell them they were wrong? Just as well they were so believing, imagine how boring the old papers would have been without these fantastical stories. They would have been filled with the price of bread and shipping news, they didn’t even have misbehaving sportsmen to fill the scandal pages!

  2. I want to fly too!! 😀 But after reading about grasshoppers within her – ewwww!!! Like you said – it’s impossible to not think of the lady when you say “butterflies in my stomach”! Oh god!

    • Yes, but I bet you don’t want the flying to be only on the inside! 🙂

      I can imagine that if you were filled with grasshoppers they wouldn’t last too long, and really, wouldn’t she have been a bit bouncier in the days leading up to her unsuccessful flight? After all, grasshoppers are known for their hoppiness more than their flight 😉

  3. Err, definitely not on the inside! Oh lord, the weird things I am imagining now! I wonder how they survived for so long making her “fly”… hahahaha!!

  4. I often get the impression that newspapers long ago didn’t want to know if strange tales were true or not. Debunking a tall tale would have meant no strange story with which to captivate readers and sell papers. Of course, this one must have strained the credulity of even the most naive.

    • I agree that they probably didn’t really want to know if the tales were true or not, after all we have any amount of ways of verifying a story, and are still often mislead by fake media reports. They had no way of checking and probably most people believed that if it was in print it was true.

      I also suspect that the reporters or sources of the times would have used this to their advantage. A small story gets blown out of all proportion with a few creative twists and suddenly that reporter is the one with the big story. I think people really did want to believe these tales though, so that made it all the easier to publish them. Just as well for me!

  5. It’s a little like the tabloid newspapers they sell at supermarkets in the states — dog boy bites back, two headed cow…

    A little dash of fiction to jazz up a story about a sad young woman with a difficult syndrome.

    • Back then it seems as though they had little sympathy for people with mental health problems and would have only seen her behaviour as strange, not as a symptom of something else. It still goes on today though, the best headlines are generally at the expense of some unfortunate. The media are very unforgiving aren’t they? 😦

  6. How bizarre! I wonder what reporter in their right mind would come up with something that crazy and expect anyone to believe it. If anyone was a bit loony I’d say it was the one who made the story up 😉

    • Instead of being the polite ‘Rather strange – if true’ it would have been something like ‘Grasshoppers stole her body!’ if they had got hold of it, I’m sure. 🙂

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