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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #239  (Vol. 5, No. 43)  This edition is for the week of October 18--24, 2004.

"I Married The Dead!" A True Florida Horror Story....A Visit With A Comic Book Hero
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Recommended Viewing For Halloween
  by Terence Nuzum
The Halloween Horror Picture Show 2004...."Filthy" plays "Flicks on Fairbanks", Orlando...."Do They Know It's Christmas?" '04, Oddservations Calendar....and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
 by Andy Lalino
Rakuween Turns 5!!!
 by Brandon Jones
Happy Birthday....Babe Who?....Shaking With Antici -- pation....Aaargh!....Love Those Brits....Vote!....Meet The Beatles, Part 40
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
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Chilling, but true--
"I Married The Dead!"

If Count Carl von Cosel were still alive to summarize his forbidden love, he would have to admit to God and the world that... "I Married the Dead!" Chilling, but True!

One of the most shocking but true stories to emerge from the annals of Florida history is the macabre tale of a self-professed Count who robbed the grave of a young Key West woman in order to share his life and bed with her in his Key West home along Flagler Avenue.

Carl Tanzler was presumably a German immigrant who had initially lived in Zephyrhills, Florida with a wife and two children. He abandoned his family in search of his "soul mate". His search led him to the tropical island of Key West where he then professed to be a "Count" Carl von Cosel.

In the Count's many memoirs, he claimed that thirty years prior to his arrival to the Island of Bones, he saw an apparition of a beautiful dark haired young woman. The apparition appeared to him through the intervention of the Ghost of the Countess Anna, who was presumably one of von Cosel's ancestors. The Countess removed a veil from the face of the apparition so that von Cosel could see first hand who the Countess said would one day be his bride and his destiny.

Ten years after von Cosel's apparition, one Eleyna Hoyos was born into our world. Eleyna was thereafter raised in Key West and was initially blessed to have been a member of a well to do Cuban family. Eleyna grew to be a beautiful dark-haired young woman with striking features along with a charming and graceful demeanor.

She was initially married to Luis Mesa. The happy couple found out they would soon be parents, but a string of terrible tragedies occurred. Eleyna had a miscarriage. Next, her parents fell of financially ruinous times. Worst of all, her husband left her and she fell ill afterwards, being diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Enter "The Apparition"
Carl Tanzler was probably what the locals of Key West considered to but either a world class eccentric or a major league wack-job. A jack-of-all-trades but master of none, Tanzler, now "Count" Carl von Cosel got a job at the island's Marine Hospital as a radiologist. One fateful day at the hospital, the Count's apparition of three decades prior would be realized.

In walked Eleyna Hoyos for a series of chest x-rays in order for doctors to determine the extent of her malady. The Count looked at her beautiful face and knew - - knew that this was the bride and the soul mate that the Ghost of the Countess Anna had revealed to him many years earlier.

Upon examining Hoyos x-rays, the Count's heart sank. All indications were that the disease had progressed to a terminal condition and the beautiful Eleyna Hoyos would not remain on the planet much longer.

The Count fell in love with Hoyos, visiting her daily and giving her free radiation treatments, along with gifts and his own company. He began to express his interest in her and asked her repeatedly to marry him. Hoyos repeatedly refused and said that maybe once she recovered she would consider his proposals.

She never recovered... several days prior to Halloween the beautiful Eleyna Hoyos passed from this earth and was buried in a simple tomb.

The Count could not stand the thought of Hoyos decaying in the earth and of his being without her, so he received the permission of her father to exhume her body for a proper embalming. The Count then placed her body in specialized coffin and crypt, complete with a telephone so that he could "communicate" with his dearly departed "soul mate".

A Grave Robber Not From Space!
Obviously Ma Bell could not fill von Cosel's void of loneliness (or perversion), so under cover of darkness, the Count removed Hoyos body from the grave. His memoirs claim that at this point the two were in "communication" and that Hoyos gave him instructions on how to reconstruct her badly decomposing mortal remains.

Upon arrival at the Count's house along Flagler Avenue, most of Hoyos skin tore from her body when "wack-job" von Cosel accidentally dropped her. The funeral home did a lousy embalming job...

The Count stuffed her almost hollowed body cavity with rags soaked in embalming fluid in order to bulk her back to a more natural human shape. He replaced her rotting flesh with silk, reconstructed her face with mortician's wax and plaster and added two glass eyeballs and locks of her own hair.

For seven secret years, the corpse of Eleyna Hoyos shared a bed with one Carl Tanzler, a.k.a. "Count" Carl von Cosel, major-league wack-job. Rumors began to float amongst the citizenry of Bone Island that something a might peculiar was going on in that shack along Flagler Avenue, so finally someone spilled the beans to Eleyna's sister Nana.

Play that Funky Music White Boy...
Nana went to check out the rumor du jour circulating the island, and peeking through one of von Cosel's windows got the shock of her life. "Wack-job" was playing a song on an organ next to a bed that had the reconstructed body of Eleyna Hoyos lying on it, dressed in wedding regalia with one prosthetic finger sporting a wedding ring. By then, Nana's sister had been dead for nine years.

Sickened, Nana went to the local authorities that later arrested The Count for grave desecration. Eleyna Hoyos reconstituted body was placed in a local funeral home where over 6,800 went to view the handiwork of the deranged Tanzler. The macabre and bizarre tale made world news, the media descending upon Key West in a manner never seen before.

Tanzler, a.k.a a true "Count Shockula", returned to Zephyrhills, living only several miles from his only true legal wife. The now-empty crypt that he had crafted for Hoyos mysteriously exploded after he boogied from Bone Island.

Strangely, the case of Count von Cosel never made trial. Eleyna Hoyos remains were cut into small pieces, placed in an eighteen-inch box, and buried somewhere at midnight at a secret location, presumably in Key West. The three who knew the whereabouts of Hoyos final resting place took the secret to there own graves.

After Count "von Kook" died, Monroe County medical examiners released shocking information:

Evidence was found on the Hoyos remains providing evidence that the Count had consummated his marriage relationship with Eleyna.

Incredibly, when local authorities in Zephyrhills found the lifeless body of Carl Tanzler, otherwise known as Count Carl von Cosel, it was in his own house, slumped over a casket of a likeness of Eleyna Hoyos.

So the next time you're in Key West just remember - - that bar stool or park bench you're sitting on or walking by could be lying above the final resting place of Eleyna Hoyos!

A Visit With a Comic Book Hero
In February 1984 I was blessed to have visited the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts with my late sister Merry Moor Winnett, and her husband Tommy.

It was truly mind boggling yet inspirational to see actual works of Leonardo de Vinci gracing the galleries of that world-class museum. By the summer of 1984 I had visited the Morse Gallery (now known as the Charles Hosmer Morse Gallery) in Winter Park, Florida with Judy Anderson, and first hand saw the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany work in the world.

I was again mind-boggled and inspired.

Much like with planetariums, much of my younger years were spent visiting art galleries with my sister or with my friends. That magic came back when Nolan Canova and I visited the Dunedin Fine Arts Center on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon on October 17, 2004, to see one of its latest exhibits "The Comic Book Hero".

I was raised on comic books from the 1960's through the 1980's, and the exhibition, a collaborative effort curators Randy Martin, Todd Still, Barbara Kesel and spearheaded by Center curator David Shankweller, left me rediscovering something that had been dormant for years - -

Being mind boggled and inspired!

Shankweller, himself a graphic artist was inspired by comic book art as a young boy. Where comic book illustrator Gil Kane was Shankweller's primary inspiration, mine was Carmine Infantino. Shankweller and I blabbed for close to an hour about our love of the medium, and in the process, did a little bit of name-dropping and comic book rumormongering.

Shankweller has done an outstanding job with this exhibit, and any comic fan in the Bay area owes it to themselves to see original artworks by comic book legends such as Wayne Boring, Curt Swan, Klaus Jansen, Neal Adams, Dick Sprang, Steve Ditko, Bob Kane, Shelly Moldoff, Sal Buscema, John Romita, Jack Kirby, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Brian Bolland, Adam Kubert, and a host of others.

Most incredible was seeing the original artwork by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella of Page 5 of the September 1966 Batman tale “Hate of the Hooded Hangman!” a printed version I collected at age 11 which lies less than two feet away from the very computer I’m word processing this edition from!

This wondrous exhibit runs through January 7, 2005.

The Dunedin Fine Art Center is located at 1143 Michigan Blvd. in Dunedin. Hours are M-F 10:00 AM to 5 PM; Sat. 10 AM to 2 PM and Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM. Phone 727-298-3322, or link to for more information.

"La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.