‘Desert Oracle’ Is a Spooky Look at the Southwest


Ken Layne left an influential career in digital media to create ‘Desert Oracle,’ a cult-favorite radio show and print periodical based in Joshua Tree that explores everything from the political to the paranormal. Now it’s being released as a book.

Even the ghost stories that fill Desert Oracle’s pages and soundbites serve a greater purpose: saving the desert. “The mission of Desert Oracle is desert and wilderness conservation,” Layne told me in an email. He often sneaks the conservation messages into his show and his publications. The first issue, published in 2015, included a list of small desert land trusts that readers could support. “I’ve been doing stuff with the Mojave Desert Land Trust since then, too, and I like to believe I’ve injected some lifelong conservation and ecology ideas into people’s heads,” Layne continued in the email.

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