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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Leaving You in Stitches, Part 2

Day laborer scams in India, exploitation of people in poverty desperate to provide for their families, surgeries and death threats, this episode has the details on human tissue theft you’ve been waiting for! Horrific History co-hosts Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender are back to continue their two-part episode on human tissue theft (if you missed Part 1, you can find it here)! A large organ trafficking ring catering to transplant tourism, the so-called Admiral of the Kansas Navy who made his fortune as a Quaker doctor who peddled virility miracle cures, organ brokers and donors who are viewed as both saints and sinners, this episode will leave you wondering what your body parts are worth and to whom.

 

Doctor Dracula” stealing kidneys; goat testicles; pseudoscience, doctor self-experimentation and […]

Leaving You in Stitches, Part 1

A nun plucks penises off a phallus tree in the Roman de la Rose, c. 1325-1353. (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS. Fr. 25526, f. 106v.)

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “tissue theft?” Do you think of evil elves on a clandestine caper to acquire tissue paper for wrapping presents? Perhaps you think of someone with a horrible cold stealing your last box of tissue. After this episode, you’ll think of more gruesome things… Horrific History co-hosts Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender examine examples from history when people have had parts of their body lost, removed or stolen- sometimes even without their awareness or consent! Documented true-life cases and psychological maladies, fables and witch hunts, curses and hexes, this episode will have you looking for certain body parts in the trees.

 

Severed penises held captive (and put on a strict diet), radium tube inserts, immortal cells that could encircle the Earth three times over, marital difficulties blamed on  […]

Too Much of a Good Thing

“The dose makes the poison.” What do you think of when you hear that? Perhaps you think of an alchemy class at a fantastical wizarding school or of an infatuation turned into a blinding obsession. Maybe you remember the morning after a weekend bender or a “sugar coma” crash.  What can be harmless, or even beneficial, in certain amounts can become dangerous or deadly when there is too much. Horrific History co-hosts Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender explore cases in history when the everyday things from life can, when overused, have mind-altering, physically debilitating or even deadly effects.

 

The death of a United States President; visual, auditory and sensory hallucinations; a man who turned blue and a modern problem which was also used as a medieval torture technique […]

30 May / 2017

Radium Girls

The Horrible Case of the Shining Women

You may remember hearing about the Radium Girls in our For a Healthy Glow: Radiation Poisoning episode, and we’ve added a great resource to our Store for those of you who want to learn more about their important part in history! There’s a physical book, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women,  for those bibliophiles who need something to hold onto.

 

 

But for you audiophiles who prefer to absorb knowledge through listening to audio books or podcasts, we found […]

A Horrible Inheritance

What is the worst thing you can imagine receiving as an inheritance or “legacy gift”? What if the worst your parents could give you was their shared DNA? Sure, we know we’re going to get a combinations of physical traits, for better or worse, from our parents but some people have terrible genetic odds due to the close relations of their parents! From Neanderthal discoveries found in modern day Siberia to the royal affairs (and marriages) of royalty in Egypt and Spain and ending with the modern Colt family incest cult in Australia, this episode gets around! Co-hosts Curtis Bender and Eric Slyter will be filling this Horrific History Podcast with the tragic details on what can happen when you keep the genes inside the family!

 

Hapsburg’s jaws, club feet and cleft palates, […]

It should come as no surprise to listeners of One Night With Venus Part 1 and Part 2 that a syringe full of mercury injected into a vagina was considered top-of-the-line medical treatment in the 16th Century. How often do you get to own such an, um, penetrating insight into the subject? Remember: No squeam allowed!

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Slideshow photo credit: CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Making Your Blood Boil

How well do you cope with being under pressure? Does it make your blood boil? Do you keep calm like a Soviet astronaut pulling a cool move out of The Martian?

 

From Polynesian pearl diving taravana and the discovery of Boyle’s Law, Horrific History co-hosts Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender uncork the most explosive and gory details of decompression sickness in history. To help you acclimate to the increased squeam-atmospheres of pressure, they begin with animal experimentation, caisson disease, Nazi Germany experiments involving (live?) human brain dissection and […]