Meet An October Speaker: Maya Rook!

Maya Rook is a PhD student in American cultural history at Drew University. She specializes on the Donner Party—the notorious cannibals of the frontier—and is currently documenting their daily travels on Twitter @DonnerDigest. She also likes to barbecue. 

Maya’s always had a thing for witches and is the descendent of Martha Tyler—a confessed witch of the Salem Witch Trials. She will be presenting this dark side of America’s Puritan past on October 14 at SASS.

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Meet An October Speaker: Heather Dockray!

Heather Dockray is a Brooklyn-based storyteller, writer, and performer. She writes regularly for the comedy website FilmDrunk/Uproxx and has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, The Onion AV Club, Gawker, and Buzzfeed. You can check out more of Heather’s work at or follow her on Twitter @Wear_a_helmet.

Be sure to check Heather out on October 14 as she talks to us about America’s Least Notorious Serial Killers at SASS Presents: Real Scary History!

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A Very SASS-y Sweepstakes


We’re thrilled to have noted author Bess Lovejoy speak at our upcoming Real Scary History SASS. In anticipation of her talk and the spooky Halloween season, we’ll be raffling off a copy of her wonderful book Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses.

To enter, simply send us SASS email at emailingsass at gmail dot com by October 14th. We’ll do the drawing at 5pm.

You can read more about the book below. And if you’re not the lucky winner, you can still indulge your morbid curiosity by buying the book online or at October’s SASS event!

About Rest in Pieces

From Alexander the Great (whose corpse founded a dynasty) to René Descartes (whose skull was separated from his body) and Dorothy Parker (whose ashes were hidden in a filing cabinet for more than a decade), some of the most influential and interesting people in history have journeyed on posthumous adventures none of them could have predicted.

Rest in Pieces catalogs stories from the age of antiquity to today, tracing the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death and connecting the lives of the famous deceased to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses. Jim Thorpe’s body renamed a city in Pennsylvania. Einstein’s brain took a road trip across America. And Osama bin Laden’s corpse was lost among the waves—until a California treasure hunter claimed to find it.

More than a rich and satisfying source of inappropriate cocktail chatter, Rest in Pieces uses its novel perspective to reveal the lives of the world’s most interesting people, and to help us understand the Grim Reaper a little better.

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Meet An October Speaker: Bess Lovejoy!


Bess Lovejoy is the author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, which named as one of the best books of 2013. She has written about death, obscure history, and other topics for The New York TimesThe Smithsonian,The Wall Street JournalTimeLapham’s QuarterlyThe Boston Globe, and elsewhere. She is a member of The Order ofthe Good Death, and a founding member of Death Salon.

This month, we’re honored to have Bess speaking at our annual Real Scary History event where she’ll discuss the history of the coffin, from its days as a luxury reserved for the rich to its status as a legal necessity. 

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October Lecture: Real Scary History


Halloween in NYC is great because everyone gets the chance to dress even scarier/sluttier than normal. Though costumes are just pretend, SASS is getting into the spooky spirit with three lectures about creepy things that are real.

The Night’s Terrifying Talks will Include:

What You Need to Know:

Lecture Low-Down:

A Brief History of Coffins

Bess Lovejoy takes us on a journey through time and graveyards to explain how and why coffins have been used. If a short lecture isn’t enough for you, check out Bess’s new book : Rest in Pieces.

The Salem Witch Trials

You know it, you love it, now Maya Rook is going to tell you what actually happened during the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Anyone who gets Daniel Day Lewis to show up gets free drinks all night.

America’s Least Notorious Serial Killers

Heather Trobe tells us about some of America’s lesser known serial killers, and the parts they played in the development of criminal justice and forensics. 

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