Narratively

I Spent My Childhood Helping My Mom Sell Dead People’s Junk

I was only 8 when I began working as an undercover security guard at estate sales. Among the dusty trinkets and used shampoo bottles, I learned a lot about human nature.

The Revival of a Bloodthirsty Obsession

Leeches were once a popular medical treatment for everything from headaches to hemorrhages. Now a subculture of true believers is reclaiming this ancient practice.

Secret Life of a Mermaid

Their lavish costumes and group swims provide a community they could never find on land — so much so that they don’t identify as human.

How Starting a Pet Euthanasia Business Saved My Life

I was devastated when I lost my dream job as a mortician. But I found a new sense of purpose guiding pet owners through the worst days of their lives.

The Curse of the Ship of Gold

How a brilliant scientist went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash.

History’s Greatest Horse Racing Cheat and His Incredible Painting Trick

In the sport’s post-Depression heyday, one audacious grifter beat the odds with an elaborate scam: disguising fast horses to look like slow ones.

Secret Life of a Children’s Party Princess

I thought a summer job at the Princess Academy would be a carefree escape. But I learned some hard lessons about real life while playing make-believe.

The Real Story of Black Martha’s Vineyard

Beyond the beautiful beaches and glitzy galas, Oak Bluffs is a complex community that elite families, working-class locals and social-climbing summerers all claim as their own.

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