#17 Christmas Ghosts

#17 Christmas Ghosts

Traditionally Christmas was a time for ghost stories, and tonight we’re doing our part to bring back the custom.  A bit of history on supernatural stories of the season and then something a bit different for the holiday — a bit of storytelling for your fireside enjoyment — a ghost story from the Victorian master …

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#16 The Haunted Season

#16 The Haunted Season

Historically, Christmastime in Central Europe was a season haunted by otherworldly spirits, werewolves, ghostly huntsmen, and wandering hordes of lost souls.  This is particularly the case in the Krampus’ homeland of German-speaking Central Europe. We open with a survey of the various frightful spirits said to be afoot this time of year.  Bavaria, particularly the …

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#15 Saint, Devil, Sugar-Bread, & Whip: KRAMPUS AND NICHOLAS

#15 Saint, Devil, Sugar-Bread, & Whip: KRAMPUS AND NICHOLAS

The Krampus and St. Nicholas represent a folkloric duality embodying a mode of childrearing the Germans call “sugar-bread and whip” — in English, “carrot and stick.”  In this episode, the first of three exploring the darker folklore of the season, we look at the Krampus’ origins in the old custom of Krampus and Nicholas house-visits …

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#14 Singing Bones & Scrumptious Children

#14 Singing Bones & Scrumptious Children

This episode looks at some particularly gruesome fairy tales and folk ballads telling of murderers convicted of their crime through magical intervention of the bones or blood of their victims. We begin with a look at the story of Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street as it shares a common theme of accidental …

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#13: Ancient Necromancy

#13: Ancient Necromancy

Finishing up with our October theme of “talking to the dead,” we examine necromancy in the ancient world in this episode.  While the word has been generalized in its present use to mean cover any form of magic of a sinister bent, in its original meaning, it was simply what the Latinized-Greek etymology suggests: “necro-” for …

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#12: Seances & Scandals

#12: Seances & Scandals

Hope you enjoy part two of our exploration of Spiritualism and seances. This one is particularly full of shocking, sad, and amusing tales you won’t hear anywhere else. First we wrap up last week’s story of the Fox sisters, who in many ways started the whole ball rolling.  Two surprising revelations regarding their ghostly communications are revealed …

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Episode 11: The Dead Speak

Episode 11: The Dead Speak

The 19th-century Spiritualist movement was rife with fraud and misplaced hopes, but what made people so eager to believe in the possibility of talking to the dead?  This episode looks at some early mediumistic pioneers, attractions beyond the metaphysical that drew sitters to take part in seances, and the growing pressure within the movement to …

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Spirits Rising! October Shows!

Spirits Rising! October Shows!

To thank you for all your patience through September, we’re giving you THREE Bone & Sickle episodes for this Halloween month — all about speaking with the spirits of the dead. Monday, October 8EPISODE 11: THE DEAD SPEAK Early Spiritualism. Ectoplasmic shenanigans. Vaudevillian seance shows. A “spirit machine.  Tricks of the trade and compromising positions. …

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Patreon Support

Patreon Support

A word on supporting Bone and Sickle via Patreon. What your donations help me accomplish… I don’t want to make a podcast like any other. I want it to be transportive, immersive, and glutted with all the ghoulish detail it deserves, and that’s what your equally lavish generosity accomplishes. Your donations help keep me on …

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