The Noir and Bizarre The Noir and Bizarre explores the dark and strange stories we tell ourselves about human existence – occult history, ghosts, haunted houses, and secret crimes - with a special emphasis on stories that draw on the rich history and culture of Baltimore. Additionally, the show philosophically asks big questions about spiritual narratives and rituals surrounding life and death.
The Noir and Bizarre

The Noir and Bizarre

From WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

The Noir and Bizarre explores the dark and strange stories we tell ourselves about human existence – occult history, ghosts, haunted houses, and secret crimes - with a special emphasis on stories that draw on the rich history and culture of Baltimore. Additionally, the show philosophically asks big questions about spiritual narratives and rituals surrounding life and death.

Most Recent Episodes

A Ghost Hunt at the Lord Baltimore Hotel

Guest host Rachel Baye takes listeners behind the scenes on a ghost hunt at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, one of the most haunted places in Maryland. The hunt took place on September 29, 2018, this year's "National Ghost Hunting Day." There are more than a few spine-tingling moments on this eerie tour!

From Celtic Ghosts to Trick-Or-Treating: The Evolution of Halloween

From Ancient Celtic harvest rites warding off ghosts and spirits... to Roman rites honoring the dead... To All Soul's Day masses... On this episode, Katie is exploring the origins and evolution of modern Halloween celebrations. We also feature a reading of T.S. Eliot's haunting poem, "The Hollow Men." Happy Halloween!

All the Saints You Should Know

Elizabeth Harper is an author, photographer, and academic, as well as the creator of the popular online blog: All the Saints You Should Know: Bones, Relics, Lore, and Oddities from the Catholic Church.On this episode, Katie and Elizabeth talk about the confusion over incorruptability of saints' bodies, the strange allure of ossuaries (bone churches), folk Catholicism and veneration, and how churches can act as memory theaters for forgotten history.

A Tale of Poes and Beer

On this episode, Katie takes listeners on an audio tour of the First Annual International Edgar Allan Poe Festival and then meets up with Stephen Demczuk, founder and CEO, of Raven Brewing Company, to learn about the origins of this iconic Poe-inspired beer.

INNOCENT ON DEATH ROW: Kirk Bloodsworth and a Case of Mistaken Identity

This year's One Maryland One Book pick is "Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence" by Tim Junkin. At 23 years old, Kirk Bloodsworth found himself wrongfully accused and facing the death penalty for a crime he didn't commit. Behind bars for nearly nine years before DNA proved his innocence, Bloodsworth now dedicates his life to proving the innocence of the wrongfully incarcerated.He was also instrumental in outlawing the death penalty in Maryland. On this episode, Katie interviews both Tim Junkin and Kirk Bloodsworth to hear the full the story.

The Noir and Bizarre - Another World: The Eerie Melancholy of Howard Norman

Two-time National Book Award Finalist Howard Norman writes strange and melancholy novels, most of which are set in remote Canadian provinces. His books deal with murder, love, detectives, and the impossibility of closure. Howard Norman is a creative writing professor at University of Maryland and spends his summers at a farmhouse in Vermont.

The Noir and Bizarre - Another World: The Eerie Melancholy of Howard Norman

The Noir and Bizarre - A Bibliomaniac's Dream: The Peabody Library

bibliomania: noun: passionate enthusiasm for collecting and posessing books.Do you have bibliomania? So do we. On this episode of The Noir and Bizarre, Katie visits Earle Havens, Curator of Rare Books at the famous George Peabody Library. Earle introduces us to some bizarre and beautiful books in the library, and also gives us some of the history behind this stunning cathedral of books. Make sure you check out the Baltimore Book Festival, September 28th - September 30th: www.baltimorebookfestival.com

The Noir and Bizarre - Mery the Mummy

We're heading back in time, to the land of the pharaohs and the valley of the Dead. We don't have to go far. Right here in Baltimore, a 3,000 year old mummy, fondly named Mery ("The Beloved"), has found a home at The Walter's Art Museum. Katie talks with Lisa Anderson-Zhu, associate curator of the Mediterranian.Along with the history of Mery, we'll learn about Egyptian mummification processes, funerary practices, and spiritual beliefs.

The Noir and Bizarre - The Strange Case of Agatha Christie

On December 3, 1926, the great mystery writer, Agatha Christie left for a weekend in Yorkshire. Her car was found abandoned nearby. The police couldn't locate her for ten days. Finally, she was found registered at a hotel under a fake name apparently suffering from severe amnesia.On this episode, Katie explains some of the theories behind her bizarre disappearance. Plus, recommendations for your summer reading, and the Doctor Who episode that best explains Christie's disappearance.

The Noir and Bizarre - Nobody Gets out Alive: Death Through the Ages

Throughout all of human history, human beings have consistently struggled with how to grapple with their own mortality. The faces we give to Death, in our dreams and our nightmares, can be extremely revealing when trying to understand our deepest fears. Katie is joined by Joanna Ebenstein, Founder of Morbid Anatomy (http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/), to talk about our complicated relationship with Death.

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