Ep 79: The Strange Case Of…

The monsters will get you, if you don’t watch out. They’re all around. They’re just waiting for their chance to come out. Or are you waiting for yours? Join us this week for a series of strange cases as we learn that the worst place for monsters to hide, is inside.

 

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Ep 78: Illegitimate Concerns: Phantom Social Workers

What’s more frightening than the idea of your own child being kidnapped or harmed? Nothing. Right. Now that we’ve established that, let’s look at the legend of the phantom social worker with fresh eyes. This story is not a boogeyman tale for children, it’s a boogeyman story for their parents. This week we will explore the world of parental paranoia and the realities that fuel those fears. From Irish orphanages’ hidden burial ground; to the Angel Maker, Amelia Dyer; to ninos rabados in Spain, we will find there is much to fear when you’re trying to keep your babies safe. We’ll conclude with an in depth look at the forgotten history of midcentury American maternity homes and the marks they left on our cultural landscape.

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Ep 77: Burns, Burns, Burns; The Ring of Fire

For years, decades, even centuries; the rumors of human beings bursting into flames of their own accord has been a rumor that no one can seem to put out.  The phenomenon known as Spontaneous Human Combustion, or SHC, as we in the biz call it, has been the subject of debate and gossip for quite some time, but what is it, exactly? Join us this week as we ask this question and attempt to answer it and others like: is it possible? If not, then how do you explain the mysterious (and well documented) cases thoughout history? And what’s up with the Wicked Witch of the East feet left behind?

 

Guest Story Teller:   Clips from Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious Universe  

 

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Ep 76: Taily Po’ White Trash

The folk story Taily Po lurks in Appalachia righting what has been put wrong. He is a vengeful beast, but he might be more than just a monster. He may be a symbol of America’s tradition of ‘forgotten men and women’ or ‘the invisible class’. Maybe he is a symbol of their dismissal and detestation by the ruling class. Maybe he can help us all understand the wounds of class warfare in America, and the rise of the cult of the everyman in politics and in the American imagination. Join us this week as we explore the origins of Taily Po and the history of poor white trash. 

 

Guest Story Teller:  Jesse Hall @wastedarkcell 

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Ep 75: Phantasms of the Living: Messages from the Dead

From the dawn of time there have been reports about loved ones returning from the dead for one reason or another. They come to comfort us, or seek revenge, or keep a promise. In some cases these newly spectral friends or family members, may themselves … Read More …

Ep 74: Look Upon My Works, And Despair! Curse of the Pharaohs!

In the gilded age, the lore and lure of the mystical power of Egypt was a pervasive component of popular culture. Foremost in the imaginations of the public were the various curses associated with tombs unearthed in the Nile River Valley. Of all the bad luck and strange circumstances that fueled belief in this phenomenon, the most infamous was surely the Curse of King Tutankhamen. After his tomb was opened by Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon, the Pharaoh set out on a reign of terror that haunted the lives of those who had contact with his burial chamber for decades to come. At least, the newspapers said that was the case. Then maybe it was a fungus, or spores, or a something science-y, maybe? Or maybe it was much ado about nothing? Or maybe Aleister Crowley killed them all? Yeah, you’re right. That doesn’t make sense, but we’re still going to be discussing that theory, and many more this week as we look at the facts, fiction, and cultural landscape that helped create the curse of pharaohs.

Guest Story Teller: Dominic Perry egyptianhistorypodcast.com

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Ep 73: Down the Rabbit Hole

The metaphor of going down the rabbit hole is defined in the dictionary of idioms as: to enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. We’ll be taking such a journey as we explore the legendary history or rabbits in folklore. From jackalopes to tricksters; familiars, to the accidental agents to a military coupe, the rabbit has an important place in many facts and fictions. In this episode we’ll take a look at those very important bunnies, as well as the question of where the Easter Bunny originated. Join us, before you’re late for this very important date.

Guest Story Teller: Hillbilly Horror Stories @therentdaddy

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Ep 72: Body Under The Bed, Skeleton In The Closet

There’s something so haunting about the classic urban legend that describes the horror of discovering a body under your hotel bed. Well, maybe it’s more haunting to imagine not discovering it. Is it the grotesque artifact or pall of complicity that we fear? Join us this week as we take a look at some real life cases of bodies hidden under beds, behind closed doors or locked in trunks that are just too strange to be made up. We’ll discuss the cases of Dixie Shanahan and Dorian Corey and search for the stories that created their legendary endings.

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Ep 71: School Spirits: College Ghost Stories

There are some locations that just inspire spooky lore: old, decrepit houses; imposing buildings and campgrounds. Somehow, colleges and universities manage to combine the feel of all these places. It’s no wonder that nearly every campus has its own ghost stories. This week we are bringing you a a variety of these tales straight from the urban legend hotline! Our listeners have sent us fantastic, strange and unique local legends from their college days, and we’ll be giving each one the Just A Story. We will examine the common themes and possible origins of some of these stories.  We’ll also be looking at a real life murder mystery that began in a university library, and the legends that have grown from its legacy. We’ll conclude by examining the possible origins of our own college ghost story, the legend of LSU’s haunted dormitory.  

 

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Ep 70: The Enemy Within: CONSPIRACY THEORY 101

Conspiracy theories are a mainstay of modern culture. Whether anchoring complex theatrical thrillers, or filling air time in the twenty-four hour news cycle, the complex shadow machinations of mysterious actors create excellent alternative narratives and high entertainment value wherever we might encounter them. The interesting side effect of this ubiquitous coverage of conspiracy theories is that they have moved from the fringes, to the mainstream. Where did this start? When did we politically paranoid Americans stop trusting the government? Maybe we have always been skeptical, but the widespread systematic dogma that makes up the modern belief in conspiracy theories wasn’t in place until after the Vietnam War. Join us this week as we discuss the burglary that brought down J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO program We’ll also talk about that program’s pointed effort to inspire paranoia in the domestic population. We’ll explore the lasting effects of this actual government conspiracy on the modern mind, why we believe conspiracy theories, and how these ideas spread. Of course, we would be remiss if we spoke of conspiracy theories and didn’t mention “the most paranoid man in America,” Alex Jones.  So we’ll do that, too. Wake up, sheeple, this one is a doozie. 

Guest Story Teller: Alex Jones infowars.com

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Ep 69: Splendid Little Wars: False Flags

War, what is it good for?

Apparently, ‘absolutely nothing,’ may have been a bit of an understatement. Teddy Roosevelt felt every generation of Americans needed its war to build its character. Manufacturing for the Second World War kind of saved the economy. War was basically what won American independence. Also, it freed enslaved people throughout the American South. We think of international allies in terms of their willingness to stand in battle with us. —Most of us do, at least (we love you Australia)— We threaten war against those who break treaties or violate human rights. Politically and practically, war can be very useful. But, would any government, anywhere ever create an attack out of whole cloth, just to sell its own citizens on the idea of war? Join us this week as we take a look at the legends of false flag operations and the history of American paranoia.

Guest Story Teller: Dr. Averill Earls of the History Buffs Podcast  https://historybuffs.org/

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Ep 68: Changelings: Turn And Face The Strange

There are moments when stories transcend geographic and culturally borders, and touch on something fundamentally and universally human. The persistent idea of changelings across Europe, and the ogbanje and abiku throughout Africa might be an example of that type of story. Join us this week as we examine the circumstances that might lead to believing your child has been replaced by an impostor from the spirit of fairy realm. From medical explanations to rare and nearly unbelievable psychological diagnoses, to the cultural needs created by unique circumstances this is a complex case full of twists and possibility. We will conclude by taking a look at a classic anthropological study on maternal love in Brazil’s shanty towns, and how things have changed there over the last 20 years.

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Ep 67: We’ll Say I Do, And Never Be Lonely Anymore: The Lost Bride

The story of ‘The Lost Bride’, sometimes called ‘The Mistletoe Bride’, blurs the line between classic folklore and urban legend. It’s one of the older stories that still finds relevancy and wide transmissions today. Transmitted as a series of ballads, poems and scary stories, it has reached audiences in a variety of ways for centuries. In this episode we’ll discuss the rich history and possible origins of this old tale.  We will also be exploring unlucky wedding traditions, and the origins of some of the practices still widely seen in nuptial ceremonies today.  Join us as we explore real ill-fated brides, ghost brides (and grooms) from other cultures, and the Victorian preoccupation with death and the marriage ceremony.

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