The Starvening, Part 1

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. How has research on populations with anorexia nervosa given us added insight into the effects of the three phases of starvation? What decisions and events would lead the people of Jamestown to eventually engage in the very cannibalistic acts which they (erroneously) feared the native population would inflict upon them?


Self-mutilation, medical research on conscientious objectors and colonists who could not follow directions, this episode has it all! Whether you have ever considered starvation or cannibalizing your acquaintances, you’ll find something to enjoy! So sit down with a big hearty meal while you enjoy our latest Horrific History episode through one of your favorite podcast services (iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and more), and join us again in two weeks for Part 2 of The Starvening, when we’ll gnaw on the bones of two winter cannibalism stories from history.


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Some of our favorite resources from this week’s episode:


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Hello Squeamers!

The home state of Horrific History Podcast’s co-hosts got into the news today, and the reasons are terrible. Our Hanford Nuclear Reservation made headlines with the on-going drama of radiation leaks of plutonium particles not only detected in 45 workers (so far) but also found outside the safety zone. Is it a case of profits over people at this key facility for the development of the first nuclear weapons? To learn more about the new developments in this compelling situation, read this article. Just remember, no squeam allowed!

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16 Jan / 2018

Apricots & Cyanide

Welcome back Squeamers!

We’re sure you remember our episode about how too much of a good thing can be dangerous.  Perhaps you might recall that everyday foods or plants can be toxic in high concentrations from another of our episodes. Of course, we also talked about some of the dangers of “miracle cures” in another episode… Well, we found an article about an unfortunate Australian man who did not listen to our episodes on those subjects and self-medicated with supplements to prevent his cancer from returning… only to create new problems for himself. You can find that article here. Just remember, no squeam allowed!


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9 Jan / 2018

Gonorrhea be Gone?

Hello Squeamers!

It seems whenever we check our news feed or Facebook we always find contemporary articles which relate to the horrible things from history we cover in our episodes; often those articles talk about still awful things can be… but today we found a recent one which talks about hope for the future! If you liked our debut episodes, One Night with Venus, Part. 1 & Part 2, then you might like this article from the BBC about new developments in finding a gonorrhea vaccine!

Slideshow photo credit: Government of Prince Edward Island Administering Flu Vaccine via photopin (license)

Blog post photo credit: Government of Prince Edward Island Administering Flu Vaccine via photopin (license)

What do you see when you look into the face of a child? Do you see innocence or the devil incarnate? Love, or murderous intent? Join Horrific History Podcast as our co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, examine three cases from history when children have murdered for supernatural reasons.


Learn about the 12 year-old goth girl (and her werewolf boyfriend) convicted of the murders of her family members in Canada. It’s a tragic love story or a horror story depending upon one’s perspective, but in one child’s mind sometimes the killing of a little brother can be justified as a compassionate end.


A young man who developed an affinity for Dungeons and Dragons, satanism and the occult takes our kindred spirits from the last episode and ups the stakes when he finds his own spiritual doppelgänger. Demon possession or mental illness, this case will have you questioning what distances you’d travel to avoid getting caught up in these circumstances.


And finally, learn about the two 12-year old girls who planned a murder for 5 months, and the lucky girl who survived that attack by a literal hair’s breadth after being stabbed 19 times. All of this to appease the mythical “Slender Man,” so they could run away and live in his mansion in the forest.


Werewolves, demon possession and the Slender Man, this episode has it all! Whether you like children or consider them evil minions to be avoided, you’ll find something to make your cringe in edition of Horrific History Podcast! So sit back in your forest mansion while listening to this new Horrific History episode and join us again in two weeks when we cover hairy history.


If you’d like to hear the commercial-free version of this episode and receive other great perks, become a patron of our podcast on Patreon!
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Some of our favorite resources from this week’s episode:


Horrific History Podcast


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Have you ever had the experience of waking up but being unable to move? Did you feel the sensation of “the intruder” in your room restraining you? At least 40% of the population has had this experience and people from different times and places have had different explanations for it. Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, your Horrific History co-hosts, explore folklore and the paranormal as they dig into the history of sleep paralysis through the ages.


Discover how these “waking hallucinations” have taken the form of witches, demons, vampires, fairies, ghost children and more (as well as which new theme only appeared after the space race)! Nightmares such as these have been connected (usually erroneously) to all sorts of things in the waking hours, from the Salem witch trials to UFOs and alien abductions! It all depends upon which dream interpretation (or doctor!) you choose! But, if you see in your life the expected result after such an encounter in your waking dreams, would it be a case of causation or correlation?


When people from all parts of the world from all across time have similar experiences but see or interpret it differently depending upon their cultural background and time in history, could it be that it’s all the same thing? If you’re religious you’re likely to experience demons or possession. If you like horror movies, sci-fi or conspiracy theories it might be aliens or monsters. And, those with exposure to fantasy or fairy folklore may see goblins or […]

Listen to our co-hosts describe how they bit off more than they could chew (but thankfully they avoided wolfsbane from our Toxic Plants episode)! As volunteers for the Horrific History Podcast, we suppose we can give them a little leeway. They are, after all, doing a lot of work at the moment for our non-profit’s other programs like Haunting Ellensburg and Knights of Veritas, in addition to maintaining their day jobs! You’ll be able to learn more about them and all that they do in the upcoming behind the scenes Patreon-exclusive episode scheduled to be released at the end of this month.

Come back next week for our sleep paralysis episode and then we’ll go back to our usual publishing schedule and release the regularly scheduled episode the following week! Meanwhile, listen to Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender give you a special preview of what you can look forward to in our next episode… just remember, no squeam allowed!

If you’d like to hear the upcoming Patreon-exclusive episode and receive other great perks, become a patron of our podcast on Patreon!
Become a Patron!


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Not Your Garden Variety Episode: Toxic Plants

Can you identify all the plants in your yard or garden pots? After hearing this episode, you may never look at them (or honey products) the same way again! Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, your Horrific History co-hosts, explore some pretty (and highly toxic)  plants from across the globe. From nightshade to wolfsbane, and rhododendron to barbasco, this episode will have you questioning the biological warfare applications of your garden plants… just remember to watch how much you use!


Discover which invading armies might have thought of new territory as the “Lands of Tainted Honey.” While Xenophon weighs in with his thoughts on the matter, discover the awful side effects of the wholly natural (but toxic to mammals) “mad honey” which had a history of being used as a tool of violent conflicts long before Draco Malfoy thought to lace a mead with poison.


The “queen of poisons,” derived from […]

In Horrific History’s most recent episode about some of the precursors to different labor movement across the globe in history, Eric covered some pieces of history contemporary to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. While we may never know exactly how many died and the ways in which they lost their lives (many deaths and details have been lost to history and/or gone unrecorded) in the construction of the bridge, we do know that some were crushed by falling stones, killed by cables, or fell from great heights. Most deaths, however, seem to have come from “the bends” which was covered in our decompression sickness episode.


We found a source of information for those who are interested in learning more about the unsung builders of “The Great East River Bridge and some of the working conditions which led them to later organize and strike. Just remember, no squeam allowed!


Slideshow photo credit: Kai Lehmann brooklyn bridge (NYC) via photopin (license)

Harbingers of Doom: Celestial Events and Superstitions


Aztec Sun Stone

What kind of superstitions or myths do you think of when you look up at the stars? Every culture has them; there have been stories developed all over the world to explain star constellations or natural phenomena like solar and lunar eclipses, comets, meteors and more. When the sun provides warmth to help the crops grow and night skies are used to measure the passage of time, it’s not surprising that any unexpected or unusual phenomenon is assigned meaning when the science isn’t sophisticated enough to distinguish between causation and correlation. Horrific History co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, explore beliefs related to celestial events from across the globe.  Hindu serpent demons, China’s dragons (or dogs) and modern conspiracy theorists watching for alien spaceships, we have a lot of “bad omens” for your enjoyment.


Lunacy and humours, werewolves and witches, […]