A Pioneering Theosophical Funeral in 1870s New York City

In the first series of his Old Diary Leaves (1874-’78), Colonel Henry Steel Olcott records the events of a Theosophical funeral ceremony he devised and presided over at the Masonic Temple in New York City. The ritual was to mark the life and death of the Baron de Palm, a member of the then-recently inaugurated … Read moreA Pioneering Theosophical Funeral in 1870s New York City

“Monuments to Unbelief”

Leigh E. Schmidt’s essay for Aeon.com examines the phenomenon of public memorials representing humanism, freethought and atheism: American freethinkers had long been preoccupied with the public memorialising of their incredulity and anticlericalism. They wanted to enshrine their commitment to scientific rationality over biblical revelation, their strict construction of church-state separation, and their worldly focus on … Read more“Monuments to Unbelief”

Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show (Plus an Illustrated History of Spookological Fakery for Fun and Profit)

On the evening of November 16 (US time), Morbid Anatomy will be hosting a live Zoom presentation of the antique seance/ghost show props I inherited from my dad’s magic collection: The eschatological crises of the First World War and the 1918 influenza pandemic sparked a massive revival of the practice of Spiritualist séances. Whereas some … Read moreUnboxing an Antique Ghost Show (Plus an Illustrated History of Spookological Fakery for Fun and Profit)