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Disaster and Calamity: Loss

Looking for a spooky fix this October? Check out Nicholas Efstathiou‘s immersive site chronicling the strange occurrences in the fictional town of Cross, Massachusetts. Each piece is paired with an eerie vintage photograph.

Cross, Massachusetts

Disease and disaster are never easy to overcome. Invariably, we lose something of ourselves.

In 1912, this was driven home when a strange illness afflicted residents of Elm Street and only Elm Street. Seven people came down with the disease. Rather, seven young men between the ages of 18 and 23.

The young men lived in a pair of boarding houses, each across the street from the other. On Saturday, the men woke up, prepared to go to work, and ate their morning meals. They were, by all accounts, hale and hearty at seven in the morning. By 7:30, all were struck low, screaming and clawing at their faces.

Of the seven men, only one of them, Alexander Keel, survived the experience. While his unfortunate co-victims died screaming in agony, Alexander took the drastic step of cutting his entire face off.

Surprisingly, he survived the massive shock to his system…

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