THE TRADITION OF THE RIDERLESS HORSE

The formality and haunting beauty of a funeral where a riderless horse, with the backwards facing boots in the stirrups, is being led along as part of the procession is always a striking image. I am often intrigued about the sources of these many traditions and find this one, in particular, very touching if not…

DRINK FROM THE SKULL OF YOUR ENEMY, KINDA SORTA

With Labor Day and National Beer Lover's Day being celebrated around the U.S. today, I'm sure many of you are relaxing by the pool, grilling some food and enjoying a cold one. How many of you are sipping your cold brew from a skull stein? Did you know that in the late 19th century skull…

THE TRADITIONS OF DECORATION DAY

It's Memorial Day, a day to remember and celebrate all of those brave people who lost their lives defending our freedom.  Prior to being declared a federal holiday back in 1971, Memorial Day was often referred to as Decoration Day and has it's own roots and even a particular set of customs, dating back more than…

DON’T GO MESSIN’ WITH A FAUX LAVEAU

Marie Laveau is perhaps the most notable occultist in American history. Known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Laveau spent her entire life in the city working as a voodoo priestess, midwife, herbalist and hairstylist. In addition to protection spells and gris gris, Marie was a devoted Catholic and intertwined her magical workings with…

DEAD PRESIDENT: ZACHARY TAYLOR AND HIS CALAMITOUS CHOW DOWN

President's Day mostly comes and goes with little to no fanfare, a paid holiday for a chosen few and maybe a great mattress sale, but this year it got me thinking, have there been any weird or extremely interesting causes of death for any of our former leaders? We all learn about assassinations of presidents…

LICK ROAD: WHERE URBAN LEGEND AND TRUE CRIME COLLIDE

I love urban legends and I find that while most are seemingly far fetched stories, a few of them are rooted in grains of truth. I think that may be the case with one local bit of lore here in the Cincinnati area. Amy and The Legend of Lick Road. Let's start with the legend:…