A cemetery outside Tokyo. Nearly all people who die in Japan are cremated. Credit Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times

Japan’s “Corpse Hotels”: It’s There That No One Will Stare

“Checkout time, for the living and the dead, is usually no later than 3 p.m,” writes Motoko Rich. She’s talking about the Hotel Relation in Osaka, whose accommodations include plain twin beds, flat-screen televisions, and plastic-wrapped cups and toothbrushes — oh, and, the corpses are across the hall. Hotel Relation is just one of Japan’s […]

Here Lies - Kieran Crowder

Kieran Crowder ‘Liberates’ Ashes, Makes Art

This past weekend, a very unique exhibit was on display at Turner Fine Arts in Birmingham. Here Lies is the result of over thirty years’ work and incorporates ashes “acquired from a crematorium the artist worked at when he was a teenager in the 1970s,” according to the art gallery’s description. For those unfamiliar with […]

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The Mysteries of Cimetière de Montmartre

The other week I had the pleasure of again visiting Paris, one of my most favorite places in the world — partly, I think, because it expects you to earn its love. Paris is like me, or like how I prefer to think of myself: challenging, but worth exploring. It doesn’t require patience so much […]

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Polish designer Agnieszka Osipa’s creations feel like home to me, embodying a sort of feral holiness I associate with Slavic folklore and imagery. Its grand and decadent but wild, refined yet chaotic — her fashion often inseparable from the moody, atmospheric dreamscapes she creates with her photographers. Each image is uniquely powerful, with intricate beading […]

Ed & Lorraine Warren

“The Demonologist” Author Sues Conjuring Films Because Demons Aren’t Real

Husband-and-wife duo Ed and Lorraine Warren founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 and went on to author numerous books about spirit activity, often speaking to packed crowds at universities and lecture halls. Many of the hauntings they claim to have witnessed are ghost story classics: the Warrens were some of the first […]

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia

Ask Baba Yaga: Folkloric Advice From Taisia Kitaiskaia

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a Russian-American poet and writer with not one but TWO forthcoming books you’ll want to add to your stack. The first is Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers (co-created with artist Katy Horan) and the second, Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles, just opened pre-orders. Though American perception […]

Dracula's Castle, Transylvania

Bela Lugosi’s Dead (but You Can Live in His House for $3 Million)

Bela Lugosi’s mansion — where the actor lived from 1934-1937 — is on the market. For only $3million dollars, you can buy the Tudor-style Hollywood home, built by architect Frank W Green and complete with a ballroom-size living room with stone fireplace, a formal dining room with “banks of iron glass windows” (because why not), a library with […]

Tear Catchers, or Throwaway Perfume Bottles

Catching Feelings: The Myth of Victorian-Era Tear Catchers

I’ve had this article on my to-write list for months — tear catchers or “lachrymatories,” those gilded vials you often see next to mourning wreaths and crushed velvet capelets, are the very height of romanticism. During the Victorian Era, it’s said, the grieving would weep into the delicate containers which turn up now and then […]

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Scary Stories Tribute Art Exhibit Is Beautifully Terrifying

Earlier this month we were alerted to a new kind of art exhibit by John Squires at Bloody Disgusting: work inspired by the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books was on display from 7pm to 12am in a small San Antonio, Texas gallery, whose Instagram served as a live feed for those of […]