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, […]

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)

3 Aug / 2017

Patrons Get Perks!

We’re on Patreon!

At long last, Horrific History Podcast is now on Patreon! While our main squeam-filled episodes will always remain free, if we can raise enough financial support from our listeners each month we’ll have the means to develop more merchandise, expand to weekly free episodes, as well as create bonus episodes and content rewards available only to our Patreon supporters!

 

Depending upon the level of support pledged, a Patron (or Squeamer) can look forward to awesome stuff like: […]

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 […]

27 Jul / 2017

What is Patreon?

What is Patreon?

If you’ve been listening to Horrific History Podcast episodes, you’ve probably been hearing advertisements for our Patreon. But, what exactly is it? The short answer is: it’s a way for you to support our program financially while receiving access to special patron-only perks! But, more specifically, it’s a way for you to get behind the scenes access while helping us to grow and offer you more fun content…

Become a Patron!

If you’re not quite sure what this “Patreon thing” is all about or how it works, this video is for you!

 

Slideshow photo credit: Gamma Man The Black Salve Experiment. Tumors two and three. via photopin (license)

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  […]

Wait for it… Wait for it!

Our co-hosts thought our latest topic of research, human tissue theft, would be a fast and easy topic. But by the day of recording they discovered a lot more horrifying, bloody and even some hilarious information from the 13th century to modern day history than they could fit into our standard-length episode. Rather than fast forward through the interesting details and bodily fluids they’ve decided to take a little extra time to deliver all the sticky facts through a two-part episode. Come back next week for Part 1 of Leaving You in Stitches, and then we’ll be back to our regular publishing schedule and release Part 2 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!

 

Slideshow photo credit: Ari Sanjaya Old fashioned clock and broken via Dreamstime (license)
Post photo credit: shaggy359 Time for prizes via photopin (license)

11 Jul / 2017

Heads, You Lose!

Were Aztecs ahead of their time when recruiting heads to make their skull tower? Contrary to researchers’ initial assumptions, they didn’t seem to discriminate on which skulls to use based on gender or age! There’s no consensus yet on how this structure fits into the practice of taking human trophies, but at the very least building materials is a novel way to preserve a memento of you.

Learn more about this exciting archeological find here, just remember…. # nosqueamallowed!

 

Photo credit for slideshow image and blog post: REUTERS/Henry Romero

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 […]

…And You Thought Dad Jokes Were Bad

The rice chest in which the deposed prince died was likely about this size.

What do you celebrate on Fathers’ Day? Some people are lucky enough to have fantastic dads who were positive influences in their lives, but not everyone is so fortunate. For those, if they observe the holiday at all, they may simply give tribute to surviving and learning from the trials and tribulations they never wanted. With Fathers’ Day weekend wrapping up in the United States, co-hosts Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender discuss some terrible fathers from history you’ll be glad to not have in your family.

 

Abuse, torture, rape, murder, flaying and royal intrigue, our co-hosts cover all the horrifying details you’d expect to find related to awful fathers with power from history. From ruling fathers committing filicide […]