The remarkable occurrences of which I am about to write were related by certain French persons of sound sense and unimpeachable veracity, who happened to be in Berlin a few weeks before the outbreak of the European War. The Kaiser, the most superstitious monarch who ever sat upon the Prussian throne, sternly forbade the circulation of the report of these happenings in his own country, but our gallant Allies across the Channel are, fortunately, not obliged to obey the despotic commands of Wilhelm II, and these persons, therefore, upon their return to France, related, to those interested in such matters, the following story of the great War Lord's three visitations from the dreaded ghost of the Hohenzollerns.From "Wilhelm II and the White Lady of the Hohenzollerns," by Katharine Cox, as reproduced in S. Mukerji's charmingly digressive Indian Ghost Stories.
Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
"blue eyes that had seen Franz Josef in his glory at the Court Opera in 1908 close upon a view of rusty bed frames and cracked concrete walls."
"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"That was after this Polish scion of the most famous family in Europe and commander of a soi disant "Ukrainian Legion" failed to finagle the crown as a Socialist king of The Ukraine, and became instead a patron of the rent boys of Paris who "handled women by necessity and men for pleasure". And all that before he turned successively a Nazi sympathizer, a British spy, and finally came, for the first and last time, to Ukraine's capital Kiev as a victim of Stalin and the Twentieth Century.
On January 30, 1945, the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise ship packed full with refugees fleeing the Russian advance into Poland was sunk by a Russian submariane. Nearly 10,000 people died and it remains the world's worst single maritime disaster. Radio National's Late Night Live recently devoted a programme to this little-known tragedy. Well worth listening to (mp3).
Do you know this scream? Originally labeled in studio reels in 1951 as Man Being Eaten by Alligator, the sound effect now known as the Wilhelm has turned up in dozens of films; sound designers have made a game out of sneaking it past the director's notice. This NPR feature (includes link to RealAudio file) tells much of the story of the Wilhelm Scream. Or you could just watch the best of Wilhelm, compliled in this (27MB) video compilation (read the making-of here). (By the way -- an orc in The Two Towers lets out a Wilhelm as he falls to his death.)