The Noir and Bizarre | WYPR

The Noir and Bizarre

Thanks to Chrissy Dreyer for the incredible artwork.

The Noir and Bizarre explores the dark and strange stories we tell ourselves about human existence – mystical 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.

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. On this episode, Katie and Howard discuss deep melancholy, existential noir, and 'that other world' which calls to us.  

bibliomania: noun: passionate enthusiasm for collecting and posessing books.

Mery the Mummy

Jul 26, 2018
The Walter's Art Museum

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.

Scientific American

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.

It was very common in the 1600's for Christians to keep a human skull on their desk to remind them of their own mortality
Katie Marquette/The Walter's Art Museum

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.

Daniel Goodrich www.danjgoodrich.com

On this episode, producers Adam Droneburg and Calvin Perry take listeners deep underground and back in time. They discover the lost history of the catacombs underneath Lexington Market, a place with a confusing and fascinating history involving crime bosses, communists, and secret raids.

hummusforthought.com

The classic Noir films of the 1940s and 50s – black and white mysteries noted for their moral ambiguity, tough-talking detectives, and classic femme fatales – seem to epitomize Old Hollywood glamour. Yet, these films were often operating on very low budgets, relying on the allure of Noir tropes to retain an audience. We’ll talk with film expert Marc Sober about some of the classics of the genre.

The romance and horror of Edgar Allan Poe's life and works continues to enthrall people hundreds of years after he was born...On January 19, 2018, hundreds of people gathered at his memorial in Westminster Burial Ground to celebrate his 209th birthday and catch a glimpse of the mysterious Poe Toaster.

Ouija boards have a strange and complicated history, steeped in myth and legend.  No one's quite sure who truly invented the board, but almost everyone agrees that it was Baltimore-native William Fuld who is responsible for it’s lasting popularity.  Harmless toy or portal for dark forces?  Let's find out.

Human beings want to believe the veil between life and death is a thin one. Some people even believe the dead can speak to them. In the first episode of The Noir and Bizarre, we attend a session with a psychic medium and record her attempts to make contact with a clients’ departed loved ones.

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. Episode 1 debuts 2/1/18.