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American Hysteria
American Hysteria
chelsey weber-smith

American Hysteria explores how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture – moral panics, urban legends, hoaxes, crazes, fringe beliefs, and national misunderstandings.... more

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A Terrorist Attack on the Furries with Nicky Woolf

Fur and Loathing is a new investigative podcast from Nicky Woolf about an unsolved 2014 chlorine gas attack on the... more

10 Jun 2024 · 52 minutes
Long Live the Ray Cat with Emperor X and Matt Kielty

Reporter and Radiolab producer Matthew Kielty and musician Chad Matheny (AKA Emperor X) were both part of a 2014 episode... more

20 May 2024 · 58 minutes
Talking to the Future: Nuclear Semiotics

How do we warn people 10,000 years in the future about nuclear waste sites that will remain extremely dangerous for... more

13 May 2024 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
Context Clues: Going Nuclear

For some context for our upcoming series that we have not yet revealed, we will revisit excerpts from our past... more

06 May 2024 · 43 minutes
Magical Overthinking with Amanda Montell

Amanda Montell is the host of the podcast Sounds Like A Cult as well as the author of the new... more

29 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Francine and the Wolves of Wall Street with Sarah Marshall of 'You're Wrong About'

Sarah Marshall joins me to chat about how, in 1968, one unsuspecting young woman’s bustline almost caused a stock market... more

22 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 17 minutes
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals

In the late 1950s, an organization known as SINA started a campaign with the mission of clothing naked animals for... more

01 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
When Conspiracies Aren't Just Theories with Journalist Tom Risen

Journalist and author Tom Risen is here to tell me about some of the real conspiracies that the CIA and... more

25 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 16 minutes
Bigfoot's Big Adventure with Author John O'Connor

John O'Connor is the author of The Secret History of Bigfoot: Field Notes on a North American Monster, a cross-country... more

18 Mar 2024 · 53 minutes
Gang Initiations pt. 2

For the second part of this Urban Legends Hotline episode, we are continuing to explore various tall tales of ruthless... more

04 Mar 2024 · 54 minutes
Gang Initiations pt. 1

For this Urban Legends Hotline episode, we are answering a listener message about a story of street gangs initiating wannabes... more

26 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Context Clues: Ganging Up

'Gang Initiations' is the topic of our upcoming series, and this episode will provide extra context using excerpts from three... more

19 Feb 2024 · 37 minutes
Alligators in the Sewer with 'You're Wrong About' [Live at SketchFest]

Live at SF Sketchfest, Sarah Marshall tells me about the urban-legendary alligators in the sewers of New York City. But... more

12 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
The Paranormal Entertainment Industry with Sapphire Sandalo and Jim Perry

Today I'm joined by paranormal corespondent Jim Perry of the podcast Euphomet and Sapphire Sandalo of the podcast Stories With... more

22 Jan 2024 · 56 minutes
The Indiana Cyclone: America's First Munchausen Case with Sarah Marshall of 'You're Wrong About'

In this episode I tell podcaster Sarah Marshall a truly wild story I uncovered about the first recognized case of... more

15 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 15 minutes
We Are All Pro Wrestlers with Entertainment Journalist BJ Colangelo

Pop culture correspondent and major Pro Wrestling fan BJ Colangelo and I discuss the quirky history of this manly soap... more

08 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 13 minutes
Talking Crap with Historian Wendy Woloson

Author of the book Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America, historian Wendy Woloson joins me to discuss the... more

27 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
Sea Monkeys

The novelty pets known as Sea Monkeys have delighted and disappointed millions of American children since they were first marketed... more

18 Dec 2023 · 59 minutes
Hallmark Christmas Movies [rewind]

This is a rerelease of last year's holiday special! Find our new merch at americanhysteria.com/merch They usually go something like this:... more

12 Dec 2023 · 1 hour,
The Many Lives of a Carnival Corpse | Subscriber Sneak Peek

This is a story from a recent episode of our exclusive Patreon/Apple + talk show Hysteria Home Companion, where producer... more

27 Nov 2023 · 26 minutes
Marilyn Manson's Rib Removal

(explicit content warning) This *Urban Legends Hotline* episode dives deep into the viral myth that 90s shock rocker Marilyn Manson... more

20 Nov 2023 · 52 minutes
...And This is American Hysteria [Five Year Anniversary Special]

To celebrate five long years of American Hysteria, our producer Miranda Zickler interviews Chelsey about the origins of the podcast... more

13 Nov 2023 · 57 minutes
Our Dearest Fears with Sarah Marshall of 'You're Wrong About'

For our very special two-part Halloween conversation, Sarah Marshall and I are going to be sharing the less serious things... more

30 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 16 minutes
The 12 ft. Skeleton

Home Depot's 12 ft. Skeleton decoration first premiered in the fall of 2020 and sold out immediately, the nationwide obsession... more

23 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Context Clues: Who's Your Bone Daddy?

Our Halloween special will cover the 12 ft. Skeleton craze and the history of skeleton decorations in America. This episode... more

16 Oct 2023 · 52 minutes
Haunted Dolls [rewind]

Please enjoy this rewind of last year's Halloween special called Haunted Dolls. Coming up next week we'll start our Halloween... more

09 Oct 2023 · 1 hour,
Lemuria: The Strangest Place to Never Exist with Author Justin McHenry

Justin McHenry, author of the forthcoming book Lemuria: A True Story of a Fake Place, tells me an expansive tale... more

18 Sep 2023 · 56 minutes
The Killer Crossdresser with Horror Analysts BJ and Harmony Colangelo

To unpack the movie trope of the Murderous Man in a Dress, prolific horror film analysts and writers BJ and... more

11 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 15 minutes
Early Drag Queens pt. 2

For part two of our series, we are starting in the anti-gay moral panic of the 50s and 60s to... more

04 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Early Drag Queens pt. 1

This series will cover the moral panics and cultural crazes that have long followed the controversial art form once called... more

28 Aug 2023 · 55 minutes
American Hysteria
The 12 ft. Skeleton
American Hysteria

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
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Pocket Casts
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Podcast Republic


Home Depot's 12 ft. Skeleton decoration first premiered in the fall of 2020 and sold out immediately, the nationwide obsession fueling an... more