The Stone Eater and other Curious Cases

The Stone Eater and other Curious Cases

Enjoy with us a collection of short curious tales culled from a favorite Victorian volume —  the Stone Eater of London, a mariner’s report of fire from the sky, the rise and fall of a French giant, 18th century blasphemies involving a donkey, and more.  Plus, more sardonic verse from Harry Graham in “Karswell’s Corner”

P.T. Barnum’s Magnificent Museum Fire

P.T. Barnum’s Magnificent Museum Fire

The fire that destroyed P.T. Barnum’s American Museum on July 13, 1865 was a luxuriantly surreal and tragic event, one described beautifully in a contemporary New York Times piece, which we share in this episode verbatim. Doomed whales in enormous tanks, fleeing snakes, sideshow celebrities, and melting wax mannequins are all part of this fantastic …

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A Christmas Ghost Story

A Christmas Ghost Story

The Christmas Eve ghost story is a fine old tradition associated with Victorian and Edwardian England, one now making a comeback on both sides of the Atlantic. Since 2018, Bone and Sickle has enthusiastically embraced the custom. Our offering for 2022, is “Smee” written by A.M. Burrage in 1931 and read for us by Mrs. …

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Classic “Notburga” T Shirt now available

Classic “Notburga” T Shirt now available

Just in time for your holiday shopping (and in celebration of our 100th episode) we’ve made the old St. Notburga shirt available in the US and overseas.  Design is based on the relics of the Austrian saint Notburga known for a miracle involving a miraculously hovering sickle. You can purchase the either of our two …

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Christmas Devils and the Feast of Fools

Christmas Devils and the Feast of Fools

From St. Nicholas Day through Christmas, the Devil figured prominently in medieval plays, embodying a subversive seasonal element also celebrated in the Feast of Fools. We enter the topic of medieval Christmas plays sideways through German composer Carl Orff’s 1935 composition “O Fortuna,” a piece much beloved in Hollywood soundtracks.  The lyric Orff set to …

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An After-Dinner Reading: Decadent Dining in the Satyricon

An After-Dinner Reading: Decadent Dining in the Satyricon

This short off-format episode is intended as a sort of fireside reading to be enjoyed by our overfull American listeners as they struggle to digest their Thanksgiving dinners.  It’s from the late 1st-century novel, Satyricon by Petronius and describes what is quite likely Western literature’s most decadent description of a feast.

Villainous Victorian Women

Villainous Victorian Women

Our survey of villainous Victorian women examines six individuals associated with some of the most ghastly crimes of the era, many directed against children (and for this reason possibly a bit of a rough listen for some.) Five of these criminals inspired murder ballads, or more specifically “execution ballads,”  single-sheet broadsheets sold at the time of …

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

While pretty much any of the 65+ hours of Bone and Sickle programming could be appropriate for listening on this day, I thought I’d re-share  past Halloween-specific episodes today should you’d like to stroll down Memory Lane. 2019 VINTAGE HALLOWEEN   2019 ALL OF THEM WITCHES 2020 SPOOK SHOWS 2021 HORROR HOSTS, PART ONE  2021 HORROR …

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“Helloween” Video Remix

“Helloween” Video Remix

A short video based on our episode “Who Put the Hell in Helloween?” The audio is a remix of elements you hear in the show soundscape (along with bits of the 1922 film, Häxan, which many of you may recognize.) ON HALLOWEEN I’ll post the extended 10-minute remix to be blasted on loop from on …

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Who Put the Hell in Helloween?

Who Put the Hell in Helloween?

During the Satanic Panic, the notion of Halloween as a Satanic High Holy Day came to prominence, but the elements necessary to this mythology were set in place much earlier. This episode focuses particularly on the early years of Wicca, some missteps in disassociating  the movement from Satanism, and early evangelical personalities spinning “ex-Satanist” yarns …

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