About Bone & Sickle

About Bone & Sickle

BONE AND SICKLE is a celebration of the intersection of horror, folklore, and history.  Every episode offers a bounty of frightful tales, fantastic legends, and macabre historical anecdotes harvested by eccentric artist, collector, and rogue folklorist Al Ridenour, author of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas.  Co-host to the show is Sarah Chavez of The Cabinet of Curiosities  and Death in the Afternoon.

With acerbic wit and a scholarly penchant for the grotesque, Ridenour delves into a wide but carefully curated range of topics that have included: Faust’s deal with the Devil, classical necromancy, murder ballads, ghosts ships, the Victorian obsession with Pan (and mummies), Basque witchcraft, the evolution of gothic vampire literature, and tales of saints carrying their heads after decapitation,

Dramatized readings of historical texts unfold within an immersive ever-shifting soundscape of original music, old folk ballads, intricately layered effects, and audio clips from horror films both classic and campy.

Ridenour’s source books, though real enough, are said to be pulled from a vast private library of antiquarian tastes, part of a manor-house environment in the neighborhood of Charles Addams or Edward Gorey.

Managing the imaginary manor house from which our program issues is Mrs. Karswell, (Sarah Chavez) whose voice can be heard in our program reading from various historical sources cited.  The family misfortunes that have landed Karswell in Ridenour’s service she regards as part of greater plan known to her through interior whisperings and private rituals of dubious validity.

Episodes are between 30-40 minutes long and are released twice a month.


Early  reviews from Apple Podcasts listeners.

Boing Boing writeup.

Laughing Squid writeup.