The Murder Trail

The paranormal reanimates a stalled investigation.

I am sitting in Jillian and Scott Hamilton’s kitchen. It is small and crowded with the essentials of home life—a blender on the countertop, papers pinned to the fridge, plates on a rack. Scott Hamilton lets out a theatrical groan and gives me a weary look. “So. You like the paranormal, huh?” Scott works in a Macy’s warehouse and Jillian is a seamstress, but their preferred vocation is Family Haunts, a paranormal research group. Jillian and Scott certainly do, though they did not get much. . . Read more
Victorio Cabrera
Owning the Wilderness

Inside the the university’s largest piece of property.

Illustrations by Téa Chai I eased the SUV down a rough dirt road in northeastern Connecticut. My friend Téa, who sat in the passenger’s seat, peered into the shady woods ahead. She checked her phone to see if we were still headed in the right direction, but she didn’t have any service. Her hands fiddled with pens and papers, nervously sketching the twisted shapes of branches and leaves as we went around the next bend. Then we were there, at Myers Forest, the largest of. . . Read more
Brady Currey
A Love of Labor

Yale’s midwives help women take ownership of childbirth.

Nurse midwife Nancy Degennaro demonstrated straddling positions on a large exercise ball for Rose Gallegos, an expecting mother sitting next to her. “Sometimes we would have her sit on it this way,” Degennaro said, squatting on the ball, opening her legs wide, acting out Gallegos’s possible future delivery. “Sometimes we have her lean on it this way,” she said, moving to rest her flat tummy on the ball. “We just get creative.” Getting creative is part of the birthing philosophy in Yale’s midwifery department, located. . . Read more
Amelia Nierenberg
Opening the Space

With plaster and paint, New Haven students chronicle injustice.

Ruby slowly peels the tape off her canvas, exposing turquoise and red between the stripes of black running down the painting. “I don’t usually use black because it seems too harsh, but this time it seemed right,” she says. Ruby is one of eighteen New Haven high school students of color participating in Artspace’s fifteenth annual Summer Apprenticeship Program. Artspace is a nonprofit in New Haven’s Ninth Square neighborhood that connects emerging artists with audiences in the New Haven community. Every year brings a new. . . Read more
Julia Hamer-Light
See Spot Think

Even dogs take tests at Yale.

Zoe the chocolate lab stares at the two overturned white buckets on the other side of the room. A screen is placed in front of the buckets, blocking her view, and a treat is placed under one of the buckets. But which one? The dog strains against her leash, her tail twitching uncontrollably. As the screen rises, she rushes toward the buckets. Researcher Rebecca Spaulding points emphatically to the correct container, but Zoe ignores her gesture. She turns to the other bucket, trying desperately to. . . Read more
Natalie Yang
Finding Its Center

The Yale Center for British Art restores Louis Kahn’s vision

The Yale Center for British Art is a shell of its former self. The once-open portico at the entrance has been sealed off and replaced by a single small door. The lobby is a construction zone draped in blue tarp. The museum, closed for renovations this past January, will not reopen until spring 2016. As I walk to the front desk, I feel I’m interrupting a work in progress. Stripped down to its steel frame, the YCBA is ready for renewal. The conservation project is. . . Read more
Catie Liu
Buy The Book

What happens when professors assign their own writing

At the beginning of every semester, Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres stands at the front of the classroom and opens his wallet. He pulls out crisp bills and hands them out, one by one, to the passing law students. The students walk out not only with their casebooks, but also with ten dollars from the author himself. In a 2005 New York Times opinion article titled “Just What the Professor Ordered,” Ayres sparked a national debate when he wrote, “Professors’ incentives in choosing textbooks. . . Read more
Sarah Holder
The Panthean Temple’s Occult Community

Apartment rituals with Connecticut’s Wiccans

Nothing seems to shock Alicia. The best anyone can manage is to make her laugh. She doesn’t emit a chuckle, exactly. It’s more a thrum, a trill, always drawn out a beat too long. It’s what I hear when I ask her on the phone if I can join any of the events at the Panthean Temple. Weekly rituals are open to the public, so she sends me a friend request on Facebook and tells me that next Saturday’s gathering will be an “Ostara.” But. . . Read more
Jacob Potash
Nobody’s Home

In rural Connecticut, a ghost town’s Victorian houses begin to crumble.

One plowed road cuts through the center of Johnsonville, Connecticut, and snow is piled high on either side. Beyond the road’s ragged edges, about twenty Victorian houses stand empty. They’re scattered in this plot of land as if airdropped, randomly spaced and facing different directions, like pigeons that landed in a snow bank. The paint on their walls is chipped and fading, save for a few remaining patches of jaunty red or turquoise. Some of their windows are broken but many are intact. One has. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
It’s Showtime!

New Haven revives a historic music hall.

“This is our comeback,” said Andy Wolf. It was January 14, 2015, and the College Street Music Hall had big news to share. The theatre, after being shut down for thirteen years, announced plans to reopen in May. Formerly known as the Palace, and then as the Roger Sherman, it had shut down in 2002 after nearly eighty years at the center of New Haven’s cultural scene. Even though it passed almost immediately into the hands of the New Haven Center for the Performing Arts,. . . Read more
Nate Steinberg