A Whale of a (True) Tale
Yes, Moby-Dick was based on a real-life whale—and that whale even had a very similar name. In the 19th century, a massive albino sperm whale destroyed over 20 ships that tried to hunt it. Whalers named the notorious beast “Mocha Dick.” Common names like Jack, Tom, or Dick were given to whales at that time to identify them. As for “Mocha,” it was the name of the South American island where the whale first appeared. Herman Melville (who had some whaling experience himself) read about the killing of Mocha Dick in 1839, and 700 pages later, we got Moby-Dick.
Creeped out yet? The Stephen King novel behind the horror flick The Shining actually has a basis in truth—or, at the very least, legend. In 1974, King stayed in a Colorado hotel called The Stanley Hotel, which was rumoured to be haunted. To make matters creepier, he had a nightmare while staying at the hotel, which gave him the inspiration he needed to create the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
These are some of the most haunted places in Canada.
Long Live the Mockingbird
Though Harper Lee would claim that her masterpiece was not based on her life, many aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird protagonist Scout’s childhood do resemble Lee’s. Both Lee and Scout grew up in Alabama, had an older brother, and lost their mothers. Most significantly, just like Atticus Finch, Lee’s father was the defense lawyer in a racially charged trial. He defended two black men accused of the murder of a white man. Like Mockingbird‘s Tom Robinson, they were found guilty.