The history of cinema is filled with a lot of weird books. There’s the one from Evil Dead, the one with the creepy eye from Hocus Pocus, the one from Knights Of Badassdom. The list goes on and on, but apparently, none of that literary creepiness can compete with what lies inside the walls of the Harvard University Libraries. Among the fifteen million or so books are at least three that were bound in human skin.
The story was first published in the Harvard Crimson all the way back in 2006, but since most people don’t read the Harvard Crimson, it didn’t spread very far. Luckily, the fine folks over at Reddit, or at least one of them, stumbled upon the original article recently and decided to get it a few more eyeballs.
In short, librarians aren’t sure how many books bound in human skin they have in the collection, but thus far, they’ve uncovered three. The first is a yellowish Spanish law book that was constructed from the skin of a man who was “flayed alive”. Seriously, there’s a whole inscription about it on the last page. You can check out the text below…
The other two books are a collection of French essays about the human spirit that was bound using the skin of a deceased female mental patient whose body was never claimed in the late 1800s and a translation of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, which contains a note that it was bound in an unidentified individual’s skin. The whole thing is obviously pretty macabre, but considering the practice wasn’t too uncommon back in the day, it’s not a shock that such a large library would contain at least a handful like this.
Look for someone, somewhere at some point to try to sell a script about these books to low budget horror super producer Jason Blum. It'll get rejected, but in all seriousness, I would watch a spin-off about that creepy spellbook in Hocus Pocus right now...
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.