A facial reconstruction of “Jane of Jamestown” is seen during a news conference at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Scientists announced during the news conference that they have found the first solid archaeological evidence that some of the earliest American colonists at Jamestown, Va., survived harsh conditions by turning to cannibalism presenting the discovery of the bones of a 14-year-old girl, “Jane” that show clear signs that she was cannibalized. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

From the last episode, we know Jamestown’s English settlers got their colony off on the wrong foot; this week, join your Horrific History co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Jordan Watney, as they get to the meat of the subject and explore both the period accounts of cannibalism in addition to the recent related archeological finds. What led the Jamestown colonists to experience such desperation that they would themselves engage in murder, grave-robbing, and the eating of human flesh? Which famous person from the colony wrote a book to profit off those same horrors?

 

We’ll also explore the more recent historical accounts of the 1972 Andes Flight Disaster, also referred to as the Miracle of the Andes, when 45 people aboard a small aircraft crashed atop an unnamed mountain (later named Glaciar de las Lágrimas, or Glacier of Tears) which straddled the remote mountainous border between Chile and Argentina. When the remaining survivors heard on the radio that the search parties had called off the rescue efforts, they had to give up hope or find a way to survive. Hear about the lengths they went to survive the crash and the journey to, without provisions or equipment, climb down a mountain to let the world know they were still alive and needed help. Could you go to the same lengths, eating your deceased family, friends, or even your wife? […]

Have you ever felt your body wasting away? Most of us know what it’s like when we forget to eat for too long, often described as the physical sensation of the stomach “eating itself.” But, what occurs in the body and mind when it’s true over a prolonged period? What more horrible stories from history can still be told about winter cannibalism? Join your Horrific History Podcast co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Jordan Watney, for the debut episode of Season 2 as they explore the gruesome effects of starvation and the events which would lead up to cannibalism in Jamestown!

 

Discover what scientists learned about prolonged semi-starvation through a World War II study called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment […]

It seems like the advice, “If ever you are invited to dinner with a cannibal, first ensure you are not on the menu,” would be foregone conclusion; in fact, unless you are particularly adventurous in your culinary tastes, you might be wise to also simply claim to be a vegetarian. However, social and dining etiquette isn’t exactly what we have for your squeamish fix today. Instead we want to share with you something we found in the NPR archives; we discovered a really great interview of author Carole Travis-Henikoff about her book Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo. You can find it linked here.

 

If you liked our Have a Friend for Lunch: Winter Cannibalism or Mementos of You: Human Trophies episodes we think you’ll love this!

 

Now, if fiction is more to your tastes, you might find Dinner With the Cannibal Sisters more to your liking.

 

Until next week, no squeam allowed!

Slideshow photo credit: Another Pint Please… Strip Steak on Weber Summit via photopin (license)

Episode of a Thousand Downloads: Sawney Bean

What kinds of milestones come to mind when you think of 1000? Do you think of scientific achievements, sports statistics or something else? For Horrific History, it isn’t surprising that when we recently exceeded our 1000th download milestone we thought of murder, cannibalism, incest and the folk tale of Sawney Bean. As a special thank you to our loyal listeners who have made this all possible we’re releasing a special edition bonus episode with a slightly different format as co-hosts Curtis Bender and Eric Slyter examine this old legend and its origins.

 

A multi-generational incest family, murder, cannibalism, executions, amputations and […]

Mementos of You

Plaster cast of mokomokai (Indigenous to New Zealand); a photo of an actual head will not be shared on Horrific History out of the desire to be sensitive to the Maori.

After your death, what do you think your survivors (friendly or foe) might keep to remember you? Perhaps a photo or some inanimate object which carried a lot of meaning to you both? Or do you think they might want something more personal, like a lock of hair or your ashes? It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? But what if they wanted to keep your rotting skin, your head or even just your re-purposed skull or bones? Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender hunt for the gruesome details on various kinds of human trophies in history beginning with the Scythians, Norse Vikings, and Aztec festivities honoring Xipe Totec (Our Lord the Flayed One) before ending with Maori mokomokai.

 

Skull cups, garments made of rotting skin and […]

Have a Friend for Lunch

Who would you eat first, family member or friend? Would it make a difference if you had to kill the person who would be your next meal or if they were already dead?

Horrific History Podcast’s co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender discuss winter cannibalism in history, specifically the Donner Party and the Colorado Cannibal, Alferd Packer. Grave scavenging and murders, prison breaks and lynching […]