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2013 Episodes

December 25th: Zombies, Cults, and Demons

A familiar voice returns to MonsterTalk as Dr. Karen Stollznow joins us to discuss her new book, God Bless America.

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December 22nd: Christmas Special #001: Casting the Runes

Blake Smith reads aloud the M. R. James classic story Casting the Runes. This macabre tale was the basis for the 1957 film, Curse of the Demon.

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December 18th: Cryptozoologicon: Volume I

Darren Naish returns to MonsterTalk to discuss his latest book, Cryptozoologicon: Volume I. From the well known to the very obscure, this book takes three looks at monsters. It critically examines them, but also speculates on what they might be like if they were real — combined with fantastic illustrations by science illustrators John Conway and C. M. Koseman.

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November 13th: Speak of the Devil

MonsterTalk welcomes back Bible scholar Robert M. Price to discuss the biggest and most well known villain in Western culture: Satan. Who is this character and how has he changed over the history of Judeo/Christian religions? From servant of God to dark villain, we track the evolution of the Devil.

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October 30th: MonsterTalk Special #003: Seeing is Believing

“I know what I saw.” So say many witnesses to the bizarre and unusual—and even the mundane. But do you really know what you saw? In this special episode of MonsterTalk, memory expert Elizabeth Loftus and psychologist Richard Wiseman explain how perilous and frail are the tools and materials we use to build our fortresses of certitude.

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October 16th: The Warren Omission

Was the story of The Conjuring the true story of how Ed and Lorraine Warren fought demonic forces in Rhode Island? In this special episode of MonsterTalk, we hear a different side to the story of America’s first family of ghost hunting. Features interviews with investigators Joe Nickell and Steven Novella.

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September 18th: His Tory of the Jersey Devil

Kean University History Professor, Brian Regal, has tracked the Jersey Devil back to its astonishing historical roots. Religious in-fighting, self-publishing, snarky founding fathers, sorcery and political intrigue make the idea of a flying horse-faced monster almost seem tame.

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September 4th: More Map Monsters

Medieval Art expert Asa Mittman discusses his love of monsters, the kinds of monsters that populate medieval land maps, and the persistent practice of monsterization as a cultural method for labeling “out-groups” in human interaction.

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August 7th: The Key to the Legend of the Map Monsters

Join us for a fascinating look at the mysterious sea monsters that decorated medieval maps. We talk with Chet Van Duzer about his recent book Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, which brings to light the remarkable sources behind the strange looking creatures which populate the seas of these beautiful old documents. Chet Van Duzer is a writer and researcher and is currently an Invited Research Scholar at the John Carter Brown Library in Rhode Island. He has published extensively on medieval maps.

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July 31st: Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of MonsterTalk

MonsterTalk returns from its break with guests Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton who introduce their long-awaited book Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids.

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June 12th: MonsterTalk Special #002

MonsterTalk host Blake Smith teams up with paleontologist Darren Naish and artist John Conway to introduce MonsterTalk listeners to this entertaining and educational podcast known as The Tetrapod Zoology Podcast. Topics include cryptozoology, pterosaur controversy, whale penis commentary and a scientist’s take on the film Cloverfield.

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June 5th: MonsterTalk Special #001

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we take a brief break from our break to bring you breaking news about Ben Radford’s monstrous new project Undead Apocalypse—a board game featuring zombies, vampires and other horrors. The interview features artist Jeff Zornow, whose drawings were used to design the miniatures for this kickstarter project.

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April 17th: What’s Good for the Mongoose…

On the Isle of Man, between the World Wars, a lonely hilltop was home to a family of hardscrabble farmers. The father was a former piano salesman, and he struggled to make ends meet for his wife and daughter in their windswept cottage. And then one day, from up in the attic and behind the walls they began to hear the whispers of a mongoose-like creature who called itself Gef.

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March 20th: The Zombie Antpocalypse

What if your will were not your own? What if your mind were being controlled by something other than your own volition? This isn’t an imaginary scenario. Real lifeforms here on earth can profoundly influence the behavior of other lifeforms, turning them into helpless zombies, forced to do the bidding of their emotionless masters. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we interview entomologist David Hughes about host behavior modification by parasitic organisms.

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March 6th: Weak Are The Champ Puns

The shores of the lake were packed with strangers looking to catch a glimpse of the beast. A $50,000 reward was issued for its capture. Newspapers around the world carried the story of the strange creature that was said to lurk beneath these waters. Loch Ness? No—this is 1880s Vermont and the monster is alleged to be living in Lake Champlain. in this episode of MonsterTalk, Robert E. Bartholomew joins us to discuss his latest book, The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster.

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February 20th: Arachnophilia

Some people have a fear of bugs and creepy crawlies. Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker—collectively known as The Bug Chicks—work to fight myths about these fascinating creatures and to promote science and wonder. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we discuss giant spiders, common misconceptions and the entomologists’ experience on the TV show MonsterQuest.

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February 6th: Hop Springs Eternal

London of the 1830s was terrorized by an astonishing figure—a caped man with long sharp metallic claws who spouted blue fire from his mouth and leaped over rooftops. Surely such a creature could be no more than myth, right? Or was there a mysterious aristocrat playing tricks on the working class? In this week’s episode of MonsterTalk, we talk with historian Mike Dash about the legendary figure known as Spring Heeled Jack.

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January 23rd: Witch You Talkin’ About?

According to legend, in the early 1800s the farm of John Bell of Tennessee was terrorized by a supernatural assailant who came to be known as The Bell Witch. MonsterTalk hosts Blake Smith, Ben Radford and Dr. Karen Stollznow discuss the case, following a visit to the site of the haunting by Ben and Blake.

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January 2nd: 2012—The Year in Monsters

To wind up 2012, MonsterTalk welcomes back Sharon Hill, founder of the Doubtful News website, to talk us through a year’s worth of monstrous topics.

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