|Shoes made from skin of outlaw George Parrott, on display in a Wyoming museum.|
All kinds of materials have been used to make shoes, from blue suede to alligator skin. In 1907, one man from Northumberland County favored a pair of slippers made from human skin- at least according to this article which appeared in the January 24, 1907 edition of the Bloomsburg Columbian:
A pair of house slippers made out of a man's dermis and epidermis- to be more plain, made from skin taken from the body of a man. The very thought makes creepy graveyard chills ripple up your spinal column causing an uncanny ghastly sensation. But nevertheless this is true and a Sunbury man is the possessor of these very same slippers, which the members of his family will not allow him to wear around the house, forcing him to keep them locked in his room and to carry an insurance policy against nightly visitation of ghosts. There is an interesting story connected with the slippers, as follows:
Several years ago a railroad man was killed at work near Williamsport. None of his relatives could be located and as no friends came forward to claim the body and give him a decent burial the body in some manner reached a hospital in the northern part of this state where it was dissected. One of the doctors at the hospital was interested in a tannery and securing the skin from the man's body he sent it to the tannery and had it tanned. It was then taken to a Muncy shoemaker who made from it several pairs of slippers and a number of pocket books and tobacco pouches.
The shoemaker displayed these goods at his place of business and told from what they had been made. As a result the good people of Muncy were so horrified that the shoemaker was boycotted and he was forced to leave the town. Just at this time the Spanish-American war had started and he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving through the war as an orderly to Rear Admiral Bob Evans. Some time after the close of the war he took sick and died but before his death he presented a pair of slippers to his cousin and it is this cousin who now resides in Sunbury and who still has the slippers.
In appearance, the slippers are of a saffron color and are very soft and pliable. In telling of the slippers the owner stated to a newspaper representative that he had refused an offer of one hundred and fifty dollars for them.
(View the original 1907 newspaper article here)