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)

An App to Remind You You’re Going to Die? On Death Positivity

In her essay for lithub.com, Ara A. Francis contemplates the prescience of Lyn Loflin’s 1978 book The Craft of Dying, which catalogs the then-nascent “Happy Death Movement”: Lyn’s analysis of death activism read as though it could have been written yesterday, and I wondered how that could be. In light of the happy death movement’s ostensible … Read moreAn App to Remind You You’re Going to Die? On Death Positivity

London Month of the Dead

This festival will run throughout the haunted month of October and features a wide range of both live and virtual events, including: THE VAMPIROLOGY OF COVID-19 – The Folklore of Contagion THE MYSTERIES OF THE MAUSOLEA BEAUTIFUL DEATH – Art and the Mystery of Mortality “I HAVE SEEN INTO THE GRAVE” – String Quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich For … Read moreLondon Month of the Dead

The National Museum of Death in Aguascalientes, Mexico

The Museo Nacional de la Muerte is one of the few museums in the world to be dedicated to artistic representations of mortality. Visitors pass through a series of themed exposition halls including the Underworld, Pre-Hispanic Vision, the New Hispanic World, Independent Mexico, the Contemporary Age, Popular Art, Calavera Folk Art and Ritual and Funerary … Read moreThe National Museum of Death in Aguascalientes, Mexico

Why Oscar Wilde Declined to Join the London Thirteen Club

Despite their distinct lack of streaming video options, the ladies and gentlemen of the late 19th century were not short of amusing and instructive pastimes. Late Victorian social media was centered around clubs running the thematic gamut from banal to whimsically outré. During the 1890s, examples of the latter kind ranged from the Whitechapel Club … Read moreWhy Oscar Wilde Declined to Join the London Thirteen Club

Flight From Death: The Quest for Immortality

This acclaimed 2003 documentary was inspired by the also-acclaimed 1973 book The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. Positing that humans’ awareness (and denial) of their own mortality has been the driving force behind civilization, Becker won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and influenced generations of social anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists.

Further Resources re. “Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show”

This post lists some selected “further learning” resources for participants in my Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show presentation via the Atlas Obscura’s Wonders at Home video lecture series. Busting the Ghost Racket Houdini’s Girl Detective: The Real-Life Ghost-Busting Adventures of Rose Mackenberg (2016) I compiled, edited, introduced and republished this anthology of the fabulous Rose … Read moreFurther Resources re. “Unboxing an Antique Ghost Show”

“Death of Hippie” – October 6, 1967

It is nothing new. We have a private revolution going on. A revolution of individuality and diversity that can only be private. Upon becoming a group movement, such a revolution ends up with imitators rather than participants … - Bob Stubbs, “Unicorn Philosophy” We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay … Read more“Death of Hippie” – October 6, 1967

London’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

A short video concerning London’s curious Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, a public memorial project initiated by the artist George Frederic Watts. Unveiled in an unfinished state in the year 1900 and still incomplete, the memorial wall features plaques commemorating the deaths of ordinary people who died in attempting to save the lives of others. A … Read moreLondon’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice