Narratively

Meet the people who build their lives around weird and wonderful obsessions.
                   

Conscripted Into The Emperor’s Private Orchestra

What do a crew of talented musicians do when forced to serve at the pleasure of a notoriously cruel dictator? They play like their lives depend on it.

The Quarantined Hippies Trapped in a Jungle Paradise

When COVID flared in Panama, 20 travelers from 18 countries holed up in this eco-village and shut the gates. Things in the outside world got worse, and now they might never leave.

Meet the People Who Believe They’ve Traveled to a Past Life

Christopher was an ancient Egyptian prisoner. Stephanie's dating the man who had her murdered. They and many others swear by the controversial benefits of past-life regression.

The Secret Society of Self-Stingers

Nothing worked to ease the pain of chronic illness — until I discovered venom therapy. Now I’ve stung myself thousands of times, and found people who became my closest friends.

How Conquering the Disney Cosplay Universe Helped Me Finally Love My Body

As a kid, I thought I was too fat to dress up as my favorite cartoon characters. As an adult, I discovered a subculture that became one of the greatest joys of my life.

Lifelong Quests! Lawsuits! Feuds! A Super-Serious Story About Cereal.

The world’s most obsessive breakfast-food fans demonstrate just how far humans will go for the sweet taste of nostalgia.

Unmasking the Spiritual Scammers of Paris

Legions of phony psychics have twisted an ancient West African tradition into a billion-dollar business that cons desperate and lovelorn people. One band of volunteers is...

This Millennial’s Alter Ego is a Forgotten Female Surgeon From WWI

Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details.

The Mystical, Mind-Sharing Lives of Tulpamancers

Drawing on ancient Tibetan practices and a very human need for companionship, these people believe they have figured out how to create sentient beings within their own bodies.