The Dead Bell and Misc. Tidings of Yore are the products of many hours spent haunting graveyards, rifling through dusty archives and pouring over historic newspapers in my capacity as a rogue scholar. Like many alternative academics, my research lies outside the confines of my day job as a teacher.

My interests are widely varied and my work explores topics such as cultural approaches to death, graveyard architecture, medical history, deviant behavior, superstitions, paranormal encounters from the 19th century, and other “weird or macabre” news from the olden days. I believe that it is important for people to be remembered once they are no longer amongst the living and that underneath every tombstone (or unmarked plot) there is a story worth telling.

In October 2013 I attended the first Death Salon in Los Angeles. One of the medical historians used a quote in her presentation which really struck a chord with me, touching on why I do what I do.

There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” -David Eagleman from Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives

I am also involved in the Death Cafe movement as a hostess. Through this endeavor I hope to give people an outlet for discussing death and how it relates to life. This is not a comfortable topic, but it’s a conversation that people should have. I really believe that through talking about death it’s possible to gain new appreciation for the finite time we have before shuffling off this mortal coil.

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