When Chestnuts Were an Everyday Food
Even if you haven't actually roasted chestnuts on an open fire, you probably associate them with winter. But once they were a common year-round food.
Better Living Through Nudity
In England in the 1920s and ‘30s, nudism was ideological and utopian. Then the Nazis coopted the concept for their eugenicist Nacktkultur movement.
Do We Have to Tell Them the House Is Haunted?
On the law and mythologies of haunting, from antiquity to today.
When Clairvoyants Searched for a Lost Expedition
When Captain Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition went awry, clairvoyants claimed to be able to contact the crew members. Why did people believe them?
The Gender-Bending Style of Yankee Doodle’s Macaroni
The outlandish "macaroni" style of 18th-century England blurred the boundaries of gender, as well as class and nationality.
There’s Someone Buried under the Floor!
The story of a building that will not stand until a living human being is imprisoned in its foundations is so common as to form it own genre.
How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House
Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
From Samhain to Halloween
Exploring the Celtic origins of everyone's favorite harvest holiday celebrating thresholds between life and death.
A Book of Divination for the End of the World
The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.
From the Belly of a Goat to the Mouth of a King
Bezoars, a strange lump formed in the belly of a goat, once were considered a panacea, and worth more than their weight in gold.