Did Houdini and Doyle Really Investigate Supernatural Mysteries?

The 2016 TV series Houdini and Doyle teamed these two very famous figures, together with pioneering female police constable Adelaide Stratton, in investigating apparently supernatural mysteries in early Edwardian London. Obviously, the series was a work of fiction inspired by some historically real characters and situations, with a lot of creative license applied. For example, whereas the real Harry … Read moreDid Houdini and Doyle Really Investigate Supernatural Mysteries?

Discovering a Vintage “Spook Show” in my Dad’s Antique Collection

by Tony Wolf (originally published via the Atlas Obscura on October 9, 2017) After my father died in mid-2016, the family was faced with a daunting question: “What to do with the collection?” Dad had been acquiring and restoring all manner of curious antiques since the 1960s. His vast collection filled “the studio”—a huge, barn-like building … Read moreDiscovering a Vintage “Spook Show” in my Dad’s Antique Collection

Death, Redesigned

Here’s an excellent longform article by Jon Mooallem on an ambitious project seeking to redesign our responses to death: So much about death is agonizingly unknowable: When. Where. Lymphoma or lightning strike. But Bennett recognized there are still dimensions of the experience under our control. He started zeroing in on all the unspoken decisions around … Read moreDeath, Redesigned

Constellation Park: Columbia University’s DeathLab Imagines the Future of Cemeteries

Picture a gently glowing city of the dead suspended beneath the Manhattan Bridge … It’s a bold and beautiful vision, conjured by Columbia University’s DeathLab project which aims to find creative solutions to a very practical problem. Traditional cemeteries are running out of space; what will we do with our dead?

Remembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries

This 2018 article from the Atlas Obscura recalls the bygone age when American cemeteries served as public parks as part of the rural cemetery movement. Echoing the Mexican Dia de Muertos tradition, the cemetery picnic fad continued into the 1920s, when cemetery managers began to ban the practice over concerns about boisterous behavior and littering. … Read moreRemembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries