Halloween Episodes

Matthew Hopkins and The Discovery of Witches

England’s largest and deadliest set of witch trials were largely influenced by one man – Matthew Hopkins, who was known as the Witchfinder General, even though that doesn’t seem to have been an official title given to him in any sort of formal way.

SYMHC Live: William Mumler's Spirit Photography

In the 1860s, Mumler rose to fame as a photographer of spirits. Whether Mumler was earnest or was just fleecing people is a tricky question, in part because while evidence mounted against him, he always professed his innocence. 

The Greenbrier Ghost

The story of Zona Heaster Shue's death and subsequent appearances to her mother as an apparition are often referred to as the only case in the U.S. when a ghost’s testimony convicted a murderer. But of course, there’s a lot more to the story. 

The Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs contain the bones of an estimated 6 to 7 million people. Their history is really two interconnected stories of mines and human remains, because in the 18th century, Paris was dealing with two huge problems simultaneously.

F.W. Murnau, Director of the Nosferatu

Murnau is most well known for directing the first vampire film, but the German-born creator went on to make a number of influential films before his early death.

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. 




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. 

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 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?