My dearest Casper stans,

This newsletter is several days late for predictable reasons.

First of all, Mercury is Retrograde, in case you haven’t heard. My Mac is ruined and has been INOPERABLE for several days. This is definitely caused by planetary messiness, not me hitting remind me tomorrow every time an update is required on my OS.

Second, I started a draft about a different topic but it’s so much deeper than I expected and it’s going to require A LOT more research. It has a legal angle, which means I’m in the weeds. Law school put the fear of God into me and I can’t just summarize something and let it go. Even when it’s an essay full of jokes about cheating on your spouse at a Marriott, I’m Shepardizing that shit.

In the meantime, here’s a fun list of articles that I have open in browser tabs. You know, the ones that are crashing my Mac!!! Happy January!!


A photo of Donner summit in California

The Strange, Sad, and Influential Lives of the Donner Party Survivors

I love the Donner Party!! Obviously!! But I learned some fun new shit from this article. Did you know Marysville is named for Mary Murphy??? And Lewis Keseberg, the CANNIBAL OF THE DONNER PASS opened the first brewery in Sacramento? And Big Bill McCutcheon went on to form the firm BINGHAM MCCUTCHEON?!!! See I told you law school made me pay attention.

Michael Steinhardt, Billionaire, Surrenders $70M in Stolen Relics

Bad News? We still have billionaires.

Good News? This one is definitely fucking cursed for buying a small chest made to store human remains in ancient Crete. Some kind of Greek demon is on its way to eat his soul as we speak.

A small Cretan chest with wavy designs
Three old photographs that show ghostly figures in the background

The Photographer Who Claimed to Capture Lincoln’s Ghost

I can’t get enough of the Victorians and their insane spiritual practices. Spirit photography is like the ghost hunting app of the era. This article is a review of a new book called “The Apparitionists” that is in my to-read pile. (That pile is big, you guys. I just ordered a book about being Buried Alive, too).

Figures of Babylon: Oldest Drawing of a Ghost Found in British Museum Vault

“A lonely bearded spirit being led into the afterlife and eternal bliss by a lover has been identified on an ancient Babylonian clay tablet created about 3,500 years ago.” This is me, dragging Brandon off to the Great Beyond. HAHAHA SUCKAAAAA death is no escape!!

A photo of a line drawing on stone depicting a figure with hands bound being led by another walking figure