Tag Archives: superstitions

The Masque of the Red (Carpet) Death

With apologies to Poe, it would seem that a fascination with celebrity deaths does, indeed, hold sway over all, especially when three cultural icons pass in quick succession. Where does this morbid interest come from? Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect it might be part of the larger pattern of the human condition.

If I were the only person who ponders questions like these, I’d worry about myself a little. Luckily (or not, depending on your point of view) I’m not alone in my curiosity. Here are a few works that touch on the tragic ends of the rich and famous:

The Hollywood Book of Death, James Robert Parish.

The Last Days of Dead Celebrities, Mitchell Fink.

Tombstones: Final Resting Places of the Famous, Gregg Felsen.

They Went That-A-Way, Malcolm Forbes and Jeff Bloch.

Death Certificates of the Rich and Famous, Gerard H. Reinert.

Incidentally, the notion that deaths come in threes was first formally documented in 1858. According to Oxford’s Dictionary of Superstitions, “The inhabitants of Keighley [Yorkshire, England] say, ‘If the coroner once enter the town, he is sure to be required other twice in a very short time.'” 

–Leigh Anne, who promises to write about something cheerful next time, like puppies, kittens, or rainbows.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized