Obscura Society SF: "A Fate Worse Than Death" with Bess Lovejoy and Jill Tracy - Atlas Obscura

San Francisco, California

Obscura Society SF: "A Fate Worse Than Death" with Bess Lovejoy and Jill Tracy

Join us for an evening of stories of the incredible - and sometimes distressing - things that can happen to a body long after it's buried

Sometimes, a body just won't stay put. Whether it's for science or sorcery, or simply a moving of property, there are a lot of reasons why the dead sometimes travel epic distances and have great adventures.

Local chanteuse Jill Tracy and author Bess Lovejoy will be joining us to set the stage and spin tales of the ambulatory dead. 

Bess Lovejoy, author of the new book Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses has dedicated her morbid curiosity to investigating the details of these bizarre and fascinating stories of the ambulatory dead.

On May 14th, she will share the threats famous bodies have faced through the ages, from furta sacra ("holy theft" of saintly relics) to phrenologist skull stealers, from "Resurrection Men" digging up cadavers for medical schools to modern organ harvesters.

Hailed by LA Weekly as the "cult darling of the Underworld," local chanteuse and storyteller Jill Tracy will lure us six feet under with a dark and deadly musical introduction.

Cocktail of the night: Corpse Reviver!

Bess Lovejoy is a writer, researcher, and editor based in Seattle. She writes about dead people, forgotten history, and sometimes art, literature, and science. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The Boston Globe, The Stranger, and other publications. Visit her at BessLovejoy.com or follow her on twitter at @besslovejoy.

Jill Tracy is a San Francisco-based singer/pianist/storyteller and “musical evocateur” who has garnered multiple awards and a passionate following for her eerie and beautiful cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour, and curious passion for strange tales. Tracy is the first musician to receive a grant from the renowned Mütter Museum of medical oddities in Philadelphiaand is dedicating the year to completing a musical work based on the Mütter collection. Visit her at JILLTRACY.com or follow her on twitter at @jilltracymusic

A Fate Worse Than Death is part of our new evening Atlas Obscura salon series at DNA Lounge, highlighting strange stories, odd places, and unusual histories near and far.


  • Tuesday, May 14, 7-10 pm
  • Address: DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh St., San Francisco
  • Age 21+ with ID please