Right Now in Stuff You Missed in History Class

If you don’t know Dwight Frye by name, you’ve probably seen one or two of his performances. He was one of the lesser-known horror actors that helped make the genre Universal’s great success of the 1930s, but he also had a successful Broadway career. 

SYMHC Classics: Encephalitis Lethargica

Today we're revisiting one of our scariest episodes of all time, from 2013. From 1916 to about 1927, a strange epidemic spread around the world. It caused unusual symptoms, from drastic behavior changes to a deep, prolonged sleep that could last for months. Between 20 and 40 percent of people who caught the disease died.

Kristallnacht

Kristallnacht was a massive act of antisemitic violence that was named for the shards of glass left littering the streets in more than a thousand cities and towns in the German Reich. NOTE: This episode is not appropriate for young children.

Shirley Chisholm

From her college years, Chisolm was politically active. Her drive and desire to make positive change led her to many political firsts, including being the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

SYMHC Classics: 5 Historical Storms

We're traveling back to a 2012 episode from previous hosts Sarah and Deblina about catastrophic storms, which are almost historical characters in their own right, leaving indelible marks on the places they affect. Here, we cover five of history's most destructive storms, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925 and the Great Hurricane of 1780.

SYMHC Live: Not Dead Yet - Safety Coffins and Waiting Mortuaries

For the west coast tour, Holly and Tracy talked about the fear of being buried, which reached a fever pitch in Europe and the U.S. from the 18th to the early 20th century. That fear led to some very interesting inventions as humans tried to ensure they wouldn't end up interred before their time. 

Pisadiera & Baba Yaga

These are two entities with a number of similarities: They’re both women, often described as crones or hags, and there’s no clear origin point for either of them. But they’re very different as well. They come from different parts of the world. One has a scientific explanation; the other has a fantastical and colorful story that persists and has spread far beyond her origins. 

SYMHC Classics: The Sisters Fox - They Talked to Dead People

This 2011 episode from Sarah and Deblina features the Fox family, which began hearing strange noises in 1848, and sisters Maggie and Kate started communicating with spirits. They built a career as mediums, and today they're credited with launching the modern spiritualist movement. But was it all a hoax?

The Beheading of Sir Walter Raleigh

Among other things, Sir Walter Raleigh was a courtier, an explorer, a historian, a Member of Parliament and a soldier. He was part of England’s defense against the Spanish armada, as well the Tudor conquest of Ireland, some of which was truly horrifying. According to some people, he is now a ghost. 

Charles Addams, Part 2

After TV producer David Levy adapted the cartoons of Charles Addams into "The Addams Family," Charlie's life changed in a number of ways. As Addams aged, he sort of settled down, but as with everything, he did so in his own unique way. 

SYMHC Classics: He Was Killed by Mesmerism

We're revisiting a 2010 Halloween episode from Sarah and Katie. Today, Franz Mesmer is hailed as the father of hypnosis. His original pursuit was called mesmerism, but what exactly was it? How did it (supposedly) work?

Charles Addams, Part 1

Charles Addams was a compelling figure. He visited cemeteries for fun, he raced cars, he collected crossbows. But Addams surprised a lot of people in not being a an elusive proto-goth. He was a dapper, sociable, irreverent delight.

The Sinking of the SS Princess Sophia

The sinking of the SS Princess Sophia was a massive tragedy for both Canada and the United States. But it was also really overshadowed by the end of World War I and the flu pandemic, so it’s been nicknamed the unknown Titanic of the West Coast.

SYMHC Classics: The House of Worth and the Birth of Haute Couture

Today we revisit an episode from 2014. Before Charles Worth, the idea of ready made clothes for purchase didn't really exist. Neither did the idea of a design house that showed seasonal collections. This one man's vision invented the fashion industry as we know it today.

The Allegedly Haunted Island of Poveglia

This uninhabited Italian island that has come to be called all manner of scary things, including, “plague island,” “island of ghosts,” and “the Venetian island of no return,” among others. What's the real story on Poveglia?

Vernon Lee

Violet Paget, more often known by her pen name Vernon Lee, was a historian and an art and literary critic, and she wrote on myriad subjects including music, travel, aesthetics, psychology and economics. And she was well known for her ghost stories.

SYMHC Classics: The Trial of Goody Garlick

We're revisiting a 2013 tale of a witch trial. Decades before the Salem trials, an East Hampton woman was tried for witchcraft. Before Lion Gardiner's daughter died, she accused Goody Garlick of bewitching her. 

Alvin York

We’re coming up on the centennial of the act of heroism that earned Alvin York the Medal of Honor. His name is known thanks to the 1941 film “Sergeant York,” but it takes a lot of liberties, and omits what he believed was his greatest accomplishment. 

Peg Entwistle, Ghost of Hollywood

Her story is often told in a sort of sloppy shorthand: She went to Los Angeles to become an actress, failed, and then became desperate. But that isn’t a really accurate picture of Peg Entwistle at all. 

SYMHC Classics: Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology

Today we're revisiting an episodefrom Sarah and Deblina about Mary Anning. She started hunting for fossils in Lyme Regis in the early 1800s. Around 1811, she uncovered the complete skeleton of an ichthyosaurus. She made several significant contributions to paleontology, so why didn't she always get credit for her work?