Seven Generic Halloween Costumes You Can Spice Up With an Execution Story

5 comments October 22nd, 2008 Headsman

Executed Today’s Guide to Halloween, Part II (Click here for Part I.)

Not enough time to assemble an individual masterpiece to play Halloween make-believe? Looking at that off-the-rack costume, that witch outfit from last year, and sighing that it’ll have to do?

No sweat.

Let Executed Today help you go from so generic to sui generis with a horrible backstory that adds conversation-starting depth to the most bland of disguises.

Witch

The Halloween standby has a few hundred thousand real-life executions of which we’ve covered a bare handful.

Anne de Chartraine, a Walloon teenager burnt for witchcraft during the Thirty Years’ War, makes a good characterization of the classic black-hat-and-broomstick outfit.

More complex occultist disguises might consider presenting themselves as poisoner La Voisin, author Jacques Cazotte or the Weirs.

Pirate

Avast, ye sea-dog — there be more pirates than Blackbeard.

Men (especially leftists, anarchists and Bostonians — but I repeat myself) will enjoy answering the inevitable question when representing as William Fly. Ladies — think Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Ghost

Appropriately, the Great White North has interesting specters to round out the old white-sheet look. Haunt the scene of the kegstand as Madame Marie Josephte Corriveau or assassin Patrick Whelan.

Roman

Cicero is an obvious choice for the toga set, but consider writing Catiline on the nametag instead.

For the whole centurion look, call yourself Sejanus and start settling scores.

Soldier

There are many military looks for many times and places, of course, lots of them liable to be politically touchy in the wrong crowd.

Partisans like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya and Evagoras Pallikarides cut heroic figures with a plain set of clothes, some basic military gear, and a knapsack full of consonants.

More formally equipped modern-ish choices of various different lands include Francisco Caamano, Breaker Morant, Mikhael Tukhachevsky, Claus von Stauffenberg, Dmytro Bilinchuk, Emil August Fieldorf, and Theophile Maupas et al.

Werewolf

This blog will always have a special place at the stake for supposed real-life lycanthrope Peter Stubbe, the “Werewolf of Bedburg” who was profiled in our very first post: he was executed October 31, 1589.

Executioner

Of course, there is one ubiquitous character in these pages — and his face isn’t always well-hidden.

Klutzy Brit Jack Ketch, prolific French Revolution headsman Sanson, U.S. President Grover Cleveland and (helpfully, for Halloween) flamboyantly costumed Italian executioner Mastro Titta are among the famous characters to tread the scaffold boards.

Creative Commons pumpkin image courtesy of fabbio

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1973: Francisco CaamaƱo, the Dominican Republic’s would-be Fidel

2 comments February 16th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1973, Col. Francisco Caamano was (perhaps*) captured by forces of the Dominican dictatorship and summarily executed while trying to organize a guerrilla resistance.

Caamano was heir to a long family military tradition; his father had been a Defense Minister for the dictator Rafael Trujillo.

Unsteady governments followed Trujillo’s 1961 assassination. Caamano came to prominence by mounting a 1965 coup against a military junta and in favor of the constitutional regime it had overthrown two years earlier. The coup was an initial success — Caamano was temporarily the de facto head of state — but also triggered an American intervention against the distrusted leftist government.

Caamano licked his wounds in Cuba for a few years before mounting a small landing in early February 1973 with a handful of followers, looking to foment a peasant revolution — a play right out of the Cuban Revolution, but considerably less successful. Harried by the military, the operation was crushed within weeks with only three survivors.

A Spanish-language tribute to Caamano is here. Another more general educational page (also in Spanish) is here.

* This is the guerrillas’ version. The government’s version was that Caamano was killed in battle.

Note: Title corrected.

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Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Borderline "Executions",Cuba,Dominican Republic,Famous,Heads of State,Martyrs,No Formal Charge,Power,Revolutionaries,Shot,Soldiers,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions

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