The last known photo of Frank Lenz, 1894

The Adventurous Life and Mysterious Death of Frank Lenz

In 1892, the master cyclist set out to tour the world on wheels. A few months later, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. What happened to Frank Lenz?
Homemade Air Fryer potato chips in a paper lined wire basket on dark background

The Fakelore of Food Origins

Where did potato chips come from? How about clams casino? Are the origin stories for these foods true, or do they fall into the category of “fakelore”?
Woman Drinking Coffee by Léon Étienne Tournes, part of the collection of the Gothenburg Museum of Art

The Swedish-American Coffee Tradition

For many Swedish immigrants to the United States, coffee was a key to hospitality and a way to signal prosperity.
Psychic researcher Harry Price X-raying a sealed box which once belonged to religious prophetess Joanna Southcott with his assistant, August 1938

Ghosts of Landed Gentry, But Never the Ghosts of Serfs

Psychical researcher Harry Price combined the power of academic language with a cultural identity crisis to build a reputation as a “scientific” ghost-hunter.
Source: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40690/40690-h/40690-h.htm

Walking Streetlamps for Hire in Seventeenth-Century London

Much in the same way we hail cabs in cities today, a medieval Londoner could hail a torch-bearer (a link-boy) to light their way home from a night on the town.
Three costumed girls, Pauline, Barbara and Dorothy Luck surrounding Halloween pumpkin, 1940

Halloween: A Mystic and Eerie Significance

Despite the prevalence of tricks and spooky spirits in earlier years, the American commercial holiday didn’t develop until the middle of the twentieth century.
A ouija board and a planchette

How to Use a Ouija Board

Read on, but beware, these tales of spine-tingling ghosts and eerie spirits...
Kuda Bux

Kuda Bux: Fire-walking for Fame and Fortune

The Kashmiri American illusionist and mystic drew on his legendary powers of concentration to entertain and astound (in)credulous audiences.
Grizzly Adams

The True Story of Grizzly Adams

In order to invent a legendary hero of the Wild West, John Adams shook himself free from his life as shoemaker in Massachusetts.
Wilbur, left, and Orville Wright sit on the porch steps of their Dayton, Ohio, home in June 1909.

The Wright Brothers: Babysitters Extraordinaire

Wilbur and Orville Wright may not have been “first in flight,” but they were first in taking care of their nieces and nephews on the weekends.