Narratively

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

The Secret Order of Swiss Medical Saviors

In a country known for being modern and precise, an ancient healing practice passed down from the heavens has surprising staying power.

Confessions of a Misfit on the Dog Show Circuit

Being a young, tattooed queer person in this hoity-toity world hasn’t always been easy. But I’ve found a way to follow my passion while letting my freak flag fly.

Meet the Paranormal Moms Society

These suburban mothers are deadly serious about chasing ghosts.

Risking Life and Limb to Catalog the World’s Plants

“Plant collection” may not sound perilous, but while scaling boulders and dodging snakes, I learned just how much these intrepid explorers risk to help understand our world.

The Chinese Park Where Senior Citizens Go Looking for Love

In a country where wealth and divorce are increasingly common, older people are preparing for their leisurely retirements—by searching for spouses in a public park.

The High Priest of Heavy Metal

First he found God. Then he found death metal. But Father Robert Culat believes there’s no reason the two can’t co-exist.

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.

Love, Death and Volleyball: The Four-Decade Run of a Trailblazing Gay Sports League

How a dirt-court meetup in Central Park grew to become a vital lifeline during the AIDS crisis and a surrogate family for LGBTQ people to this day.