Tag: mystery

AVAM’s ‘The Great Mystery Show’ Probes Universal Mystique, Human Tragedy, Spirituality

Ingo Swann’s “Madre Dolorosa.” Image courtesy of American Visionary Art Museum.

What do missing persons, Edgar Allan Poe, the mother of Jesus and a robotic cat have in common? That’s what you get to sort through with the American Visionary Art Museum’s newest 11-month exhibition, “The Great Mystery Show.”

This Week in Research: Death Valley Mystery Stones Solved!



For years, Death Valley’s “sailing stones” attracted visitors and puzzled scientists. In a remote area of the national park, large stones move across an arid playa leaving tell-tale tracks behind, some as long as a football field — and no one could explain what force propelled them. Some blamed “magnetism”; others, aliens. Previous experiments ruled out dust devils and powerful winds as the cause. For decades, the rocks’ movement seemed like one of those natural mysteries that would never be solved. But now, a Johns Hopkins physicist has finally figured it out.

Michael Stanley in Conversation with Sujata Massey at the Ivy Bookshop, May 1


stanley deadly harvest

Join Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip (who write together as “Michael Stanley”) on Wednesday, May 1 when they come to The Ivy to read from and sign their most recent Detective Kubu mystery, Deadly Harvest.

Set in Botswana, Deadly Harvest tracks a series of murders and a mysterious witch doctor whose nefarious potions might hold the key to a web of missing persons.

When young girls start to go missing, Samantha, a new detective on the Botswana police force, suspects that muti, a traditional African medicine, is the reason. She and Detective David “Kubu” Bengu race to stop a serial killer, as the father of one of the victims threatens to take matters into his own hands.

Weaving a thrilling mystery with a fascinating look at modern-day Africa, Deadly Harvest is filled with plot twists that will keep you captivated until the very end.

Psychic Photos at MICA? (The “Sneering and Suspicious” Welcome)


"The End of Being," Ted Serios

Though she does not consider herself a religious person, former school teacher Athalyn Rose says she believes that “miraculous” images of the apocalypse have appeared to her, and she’s got proof. Chicago bellhop Ted Serios created beautiful abstract photographs or “thoughtographs” he swore up and down he’d produced by psychic thought rather than camera tricks. Separately, some people believe that ghosts have actually been captured on film. What do all of these mystically inclined individuals have in common, beyond the Theremin soundtrack that’s probably repeat-playing in their brains? Beginning this Friday evening at MICA, all above-mentioned evidence of otherworldly interplay will be on exhibit in Baltiomore. The show, “Materializations: Uncanny Images,” curated by MICA Humanistic Studies professor Mikita Brottman kicks off Friday evening with a gallery talk on psychic photography by UMBC professor Mark Alice Durant. Athalyn Rose will be on hand to discuss her book, Coming out of the Dark: Miraculous Biblical Painting. Where/when below:

MICA, Rosenberg Gallery, Brown Center, 2nd Floor
Reception & gallery talk Friday, March 8, 5-7 p.m. (On display March 1-17.)

Viewers can also enjoy spooky sound compositions by MICA student Olya Androsik: “The Transit of Venus” and “Rapture,” playing alongside “The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society Dream-films” by artist Zoe Beloff.

I talked to Brottman about the material’s attraction for her.

Dozens of Johns Hopkins Employees Fall Mysteriously Ill



I guess if your workplace makes you sick, it might as well be Johns Hopkins — given their recent track record on cures, they’ll probably be able to figure out how to handle the mysterious ailment that’s caused dozens of employees to fall ill over the past week.

Hey, Baltimore — Feel Like Solving a Mystery?


Z9.584.PP8 Detective room, Police Department

The Maryland Historical Society Library has uncovered a disturbing photo — or, at least, an apparently disturbing photo. A crowd of masked men in dark suits and bowler  hats cluster in the corner of the room, staring at a black man who’s standing on a kind of podium. The atmosphere is one of anticipation, of something on the brink of happening — but what? The MHSL archivists have no idea. “What is happening to this man? Why are the men wearing masks? Are they police officers? Are they a jury? Stare a little longer and other questions arise: What year would this be? Why are two of the men seen above not wearing masks? Why does the African-American man seem so calm?” a MHSL representative writes on their blog. And because their own experts (and a few that they imported) haven’t been able to solve the mystery yet, they’re turning to the public. So, what do you think? See any clues?

Charles Todd, Author of “Proof of Guilt” at the Ivy Bookshop


todd proof guilt

Charles Todd, author of Proof  of Guilt, the latest entry in the bestselling Ian Rutledge series, comes to the Ivy Bookshop Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. to discuss his latest thriller, in which the Scotland Yard inspector must contend with two dangerous enemies!

Goucher Helps out with Jane Austen Arsenic Mystery


Jane Austen has been dead for nearly two centuries, but she’s still making news.  You may have seen the alleged portrait of the English author that surfaced last week, but British crime novelist Lindsay Ashford doesn’t care much about what Austen looks like. Instead, she wants to figure out how Austen died. And in true crime novelist fashion, she thinks it might have been arsenic.

After combing Austen’s letters for clues, Ashford claims to have come up with evidence to support the arsenic claim. And although it would make a better story, Ashford isn’t claiming that the alleged arsenic poison came from an Austen enemy; instead, she points out that many medications of the time included arsenic. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds, either — early Austen collectors Alberta and Henry Burke were said to have tested her for arsenic poisoning.

That’s where Goucher comes in:  after the Burke’s deaths, they donated their collection to Goucher College. When Ashford asked Goucher librarians to find evidence of the rumored arsenic test, none turned up. Luckily, some of Austen’s hair has been preserved at the Jane Austen house Museum in England. Ashford wants it tested to find out for sure whether it was arsenic that did her in (most other experts blame Addison’s disease). What do you think, readers? Does it matter what malady killed off Austen?