#32 Vampires, Shroud-Eaters, and the White Plague

#32 Vampires, Shroud-Eaters, and the White Plague

This episode explores the connection between vampires and disease, beginning in 19th-century New England with a strange graveyard ritual involving the exhumation of the bodies of Mercy Brown and family members in 1892. The gruesomely ritualistic destruction of Mercy’s body parts was spurred by a belief that those who succumbed to tuberculosis might live on …

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#31 Baba Yaga

#31 Baba Yaga

This episode explores the Russian witch, the Baba Yaga, tales in which she appears, possible origins, and regional variations on the character. We begin by retelling one of the skazi (folk tales) in which she’s particularly well-definined, “Vasilisa the Beautiful,” a version recorded in the mid-1800s by the folklorist Alexander Afanasyev, Russia’s answer to the …

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#30 Loup-Garou, Werewolves in France

#30 Loup-Garou, Werewolves in France

The werewolf (Fr: loup-garou) epidemic of 16th-century France forms the core of our show, but we also include some medieval French werewolf tales as well as the legend of a figure connected to both werewolves and Bluebeard. In our last episode on Bluebeard, I promised to recount a legend that may have inspired Charles Perrault’s …

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#29 The Bloody Chamber

#29 The Bloody Chamber

Bluebeard and his bloody chamber full of murderous secrets is widely known as one of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, but it’s part of a larger family of folk tales and ballads we examine in this episode. Our show begins with a brief summary of this tale in which a young woman is courted by the …

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#28 Gog, Magog, and the Bones of Giants

#28 Gog, Magog, and the Bones of Giants

This time we look at the myths of British giants Gog and Magog, and a belief in biblical giants seemingly confirmed by giant bones dug from the earth. We begin with a 1953 newsreel welcoming reconstructed figures of Gog and Magog back to the London Guildhall after the Nazi bombing of the city destroyed the …

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June Patreon 4-for-1 Special Offer

June Patreon 4-for-1 Special Offer

June Special Offer Throughout the month of June we’ll be offering a special sign-up deal for certain levels of Patreon support.  If you sign up this month, you’ll receive 4x the usual benefits in June.  That means, in addition to the normal June benefits, this month only, you’ll receive additional benefits from the last 3 …

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#27 Lilith and the Breeding of Demons

#27 Lilith and the Breeding of Demons

Our episode continues from our last with more terrors of the night, the incubi, sucubi, and the most notorious succubus, Lilith — and the breeding of demons We begin with a quick nod to the shoddy treatment the topic of the incubus has received in films, as represented by the 1981 misfire, Incubus.  From there, …

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#26 Lullabies and Nightmares

#26 Lullabies and Nightmares

This episode examines the terrors that come by night, not-so-soothing lullabies, prayers and charms against the nightmare. We open with the grim Icelandic lulluby “Móðir mín í kví kví,” which tells the story of a newborn’s ghost haunting the mother who abandoned it. Another lovely, yet menacing Icelandic lullaby follows. “Bíum, bíum, Bambaló” alludes to …

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#25 Death by Mother

#25 Death by Mother

For Mother’s Day this year we examine murderous mothers and maternal instincts gone very, very wrong in folklore, legends, and ballads. We begin with a look at the Latin American legend of La Llorona (“the weeping woman”). We begin with a snippet of the trailer from the recently released film The Curse of La Llorona …

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