The New York Grimpendium: Skull and Noose of a Murderer

My new book, The New York Grimpendium, was just released and, like its predecessor The New England Grimpendium, covers my experiences traveling to hundreds of death-related locations and artifacts in the region. Below is one of a series of photo essays from sites in the book that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. If you live in or like New York, the book is for you. If you’re a bit morbid, the book is also for you, even if you’ve never been to the Empire State. After all, death is a punch line we all get.

October 5, 2012 — If I had to choose just a single entry in The New York Grimpendium that was representative of the entire book, it would be the small display case on the upper floor of the Adirondack Center History Museum in Elizabethtown. There you’ll find the skull, noose, and death row artwork and poetry of a 19th century murderer who became the last man hanged in Essex County. It’s a memento mori, it’s obscure, it’s tragic, it’s haunting, it’s surprising, it’s easily accessible, it makes you uncertain how exactly you should be reacting to it and, most importantly, it’s fascinating and macabre.

Read all about my visit to the skull and noose of hanged man in The New York Grimpendium, which is on sale now: