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:


Horrific History Podcast


Commercial break music by Dead but Dreaming.

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!

Slideshow photo credit: Andras, Fulop Radiation Area 9606_814 via photopin (license)

Blog photo credit: NagasakiOsada civildefenseradiationmeter via photopin (license)

VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA – JANUARY 31, 2018: A red supermoon rises over hills in the city of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)

Welcome back Squeamers!

This morning marked the occasion of the super blue blood moon, an occurrence last seen about 152 years ago! Did you miss it? We’ve not seen any catastrophic events in our social media news feeds, so we’re betting it’s safe to say there are no celestial prophesies we need to worry about foretelling doom on the world. Although, humanity is funny when it comes to historical accounts and remembering the difference between causation vs. correlation. There’s a rich history of humans retroactively attributing credit to unrelated celestial events when horrible or unexpected things happen. Nonetheless, there are still those which assign apocalyptic meaning to the entirely predictable clockwork of the universe; for an example, read this article.


If you missed the lunar event, you can find some fantastic images online; here are some of the sources we found:

ABC News






Hello Squeamers!

Are you expecting the end times to arrive at the end of the month? As you may remember from our Harbingers of Doom episode, even stranger superstitions have developed around celestial events and we’re expecting a rare one on January 31st, 2018! The super blue blood moon, which last appeared in March 1886, seems to be an exception to this trend however. We weren’t able to find any record of associated panic or concern. Apparently a red blue moon isn’t noteworthy enough… or maybe it the masses don’t care if the name implies that it will only impact “blue-bloods?”


To learn more about this rare event (it won’t come around again for 150 years!), you can read this article from


Photo credit: JDB Sound Photography Lunar Eclipse With Stars – 2010 December 20 2:58am via photopin (license)

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!


Slideshow photo credit: what’s_the_frequency take your vitamins via photopin (license)
Blog post photo credit: keepps DSCN5130 via photopin (license)

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)

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 […]