Halloween Episodes

In 1848, the Fox family began hearing strange noises, 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?

In 1908, a fire leveled the Indiana home of Belle Gunness. Four bodies were found in the cellar, and it seemed possible that Gunnes might have escaped. When about a dozen more bodies were found, Gunness was revealed as a serial killer.

He Was Killed by Mesmerism

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? Listen in as Sarah and Katie explore the strange theories of Franz Mesmer.

Most people are familiar with Jack the Ripper, but Victorian England was also plagued by an odd character named Spring-Heeled Jack. Were reports of this bounding scoundrel a symptom of mass hysteria, or something factual? Tune in to learn more.

Some actors believe it's bad luck to say 'Macbeth' in the theater unless the play is being performed -- but why? In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the origins of the Macbeth curse and the life of the historical Macbeth. (And, an important note: The error regarding "Our American Cousin" and Abraham Lincoln has already been corrected in the episode He Was Killed By Mesmerism.)

Nowadays chocolate is popular across the world, but it got its start thousands of years ago in Mesoamerica, where it was much more than a mere sweet or ingredient in desserts. Learn more about the history of chocolate in this podcast.

In 1892, Abby Borden was brutally murdered in her home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter her husband Andrew Borden was also murdered, and his daughter Lizzie Borden was the primary suspect. But why was she acquitted? Tune in and learn more.

Over the course of her life, Marie Laveau wielded enormous influence as the notorious Voodoo Queen of New Orleans -- but how much of her story is true? Join Sarah and Katie as they unravel the fact and fiction surrounding the legendary Marie Levaeu.

The Birth of Frankenstein and the Vampyre

With Halloween looming, Sarah and Katie travel back in time to explore the historic challenge that led to the creation of Frankenstein and the vampiric Lord Ruthven. Tune in to learn more about the birth of these intentionally horrific creatures.

Within hours after death, decay usually sets in and the human body begins to rot. However, some human bodies simply don't seem to decompose, and scientists have yet to figure out why. Check out this podcast to learn more about incorruptible corpses.