Meet the Feather Artisans Who Adorn Paris's Cabaret Dancers

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iStock

You can't have cabaret without the feathers. In Paris, one business has been making the plumed and bedazzled costumes for Moulin Rouge and other music halls since 1929. Maison Février has adorned the likes of Josephine Baker and French ballet dancer Zizi Jeanmaire, painstakingly attaching hundreds of feathers to headdresses, skirts, and other costume elements by hand. They use only feathers from birds specially bred—and not killed—for their colorful feathers. The results, as shown in the Great Big Story video below, are a delight to behold.

The Museum of Illusions Boggles the Mind

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The new Museum of Illusions in New York City explores optical illusions with an interactive twist. Visitors can test their perception and even participate in the exhibits.

The Truth Behind Italy's Abandoned 'Ghost Mansion'

YouTube/Atlas Obscura
YouTube/Atlas Obscura

The forests east of Lake Como, Italy, are home to a foreboding ruin. Some call it the Casa Delle Streghe (House of Witches), or the Red House, after the patches of rust-colored paint that still coat parts of the exterior. Its most common nickname, however, is the Ghost Mansion.

Since its construction in the 1850s, the mansion—officially known as the Villa De Vecchi—has reportedly been the site of a string of tragedies, including the murder of the family of the Italian count who built it, as well as the count's suicide. It's also said that everyone's favorite occultist, Aleister Crowley, visited in the 1920s, leading to a succession of satanic rituals and orgies. By the 1960s, the mansion was abandoned, and since then both nature and vandals have helped the house fall into dangerous decay. The only permanent residents are said to be a small army of ghosts, who especially love to play the mansion's piano at night—even though it's long since been smashed to bits.

The intrepid explorers of Atlas Obscura recently visited the mansion and interviewed Giuseppe Negri, whose grandfather and great-grandfather were gardeners there. See what he thinks of the legends, and the reality behind the mansion, in the video below.

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