Most poisonous book Shadows from the Wall of Death

Most poisonous book

Beware This Book’s Deadly “Shadows”

You’ve heard tales of cursed tomes before. But what about a literal toxic text packed with enough poison to kill over 100 adults? Meet the aptly named 1874 work “Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall” – a historic medical warning written to save lives that still threatens any exposed today thanks to arsenic-laden pages!

Wallpaper sample from Shadows from the Walls of Death

Wallpapers to Die For

During the late 1800s, using arsenic laced pigments in dyes and wallpapers raged into vogue for the vibrant hues produced. But slowly, doctors correlated chronic and sometimes fatal symptoms in those living surrounded by these supposedly stylish backdrops. Talk about killer interior decor!

Physician Robert Kedzie set out to publish the danger and created pages intentionally poisonous to prove the point, including highly toxic original wallpaper samples right inside the book itself that still pose a hazard today. Let’s just say this book bites back!

Leaving Lethal Imprints

Kedzie’s “Shadows” incorporated wallpaper scraps containing up to 36 grams of arsenic in total – enough to kill dozens. And anywhere from 500 micrograms to nearly 4 grams covered every square meter hung back then, flaking off dramatically. No wonder mortality mysteriously stalked so many households!

The book undoubtedly saved lives thanks to Kedzie’s altruistic risks. Yet over a century later, out of concern for patron health, most copies have been discarded or destroyed and only four are known to exist today. Intact surviving copies themselves require sealed containers, lest remnants STILL cause health issues for exposed book handlers even now. Proof printed words and images sometimes imprint deeper than mere memory!

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