Resolved: Harvard Really Does Have a Book Made Out of Human Skin

For years, Harvard University claimed that it had three books made out of human skin in their massive library. Scientists conducted some tests on those books and finally confirmed that it’s true.

Scientists confirmed that at least one of the books housed in Harvard’s Houghton Library is bound with the real, hardened flesh from a human being. Des destinees de l’ame, a book described as “a meditation on the soul and life after death,” was made by a French doctor in the 19th century using the skin of a deceased female. The practice wasn’t an uncommon one in those times and it wasn’t just done by creepy doctors with an uncomfortable amount of easy access to dead bodies.

The process of making a skin covered book was called “anthropodermic bibliopegy” and it was often done to create books for confessions written by convicted criminals who were sentenced to death. Families would also commission special books using the skin of their dearly departed loved ones as a grisly keepsake in their memory.

Harvard has been making the claim for years that they owned a skin covered book ever since they were donated to the library more than 20 years ago by the widow of a famous book collector. Some claimed that the books came from the skin of apes or gibbons since they have similar skin structures but an analysis of the proteins in the book covering confirmed that it came from a human. We’re surprised that it took Harvard this long to hire some scientists to confirm the book’s authenticity. Maybe they didn’t want the world to know that they have a “Necronomicon” filled with spells and incantations that could cause hell spawn demons to rise from the netherworld and take over the Earth.

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