Saturday, May 26, 2012

This Day in History May 26, 1828

Here is a story I bet you have not heard (and if you have, you are certainly more read than I am!).  It was on this date in 1828 that a "feral" boy named Kaspar Hauser appeared on the streets of Nuremberg, Germany with a letter, little vocabulary, and very little knowledge of himself.  The prevailing story was that he was raised in a forest--later that was disproved.  The claim was that he lived his early life in a dungeon, but that seems a little fishy, too.  As I read through the information surrounding this enigma, the thing that seems to make the most sense was that he was mentally handicapped in some way.  Maybe he was even autistic--he had great artistic talent.  Some people spread rumors claiming he was of princely descent, and he stayed with many people throughout his life.

The strangest story appears to be his death.  He claimed throughout his life that a hooded figure would visit him and try to harm him.  On December 14, 1833, he showed up with a serious chest wound.  Supposedly, he was stabbed by a stranger, and he died three days later.  Many believe that the wound was self-inflicted--I kind of lean that way.  I do not believe that he himself was a charlatan, but I tend to not believe that he was that good of an actor.  I still lean towards mental impairment of some kind, but whatever it was, it is and always will be a mystery.

For the entire story of this unusual boy, please check out the following links:


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