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2015 Episodes

December 30th: Christmas Special # 3: Pickman’s Model

In this MonsterTalk Christmas Special episode, Blake Smith reads aloud Pickman’s Model, a story by H.P. Lovecraft and gives a brief update about the MonsterTalk podcast.

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July 15th: Conclusions (episode 100)

In the 100th episode of MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters, DNA researcher and author Bryan Sykes discusses the research behind his landmark book The Nature of the Beast: The First Genetic Evidence on the Survival of Apemen, Yeti, Bigfoot and Other Mysterious Creatures into Modern Times; plus, thoughts and reflections on 100 episodes of MonsterTalk, including hearing from many listeners about their own favorite monsters…

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June 3rd: Let’s Get This Off Our Chest

There are legends from around the world of a creature that comes to you at night and sits on your chest, sucking away your life force. The incubus, the succubus, the old hag — people really report these experiences, but how does science explain it? Dr. Brian Sharpless, co-author of the new book Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological and Medical Perspectives, joins us to discuss the terrifying phenomenon.

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May 20th: Doctor Atlantis

You’ve heard the legend of Atlantis. But have you ever heard the facts behind the legend? Dr. Kenny Feder returns to talk about the true story of Atlantis and it isn’t what most people think.

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April 15th: Shame on the Lizard People

Is the world secretly being controlled by a dark, shadowy cabal? Are many of the world’s leaders actually blood-drinking, child-abusing lizard people? No, they aren’t. But in this episode of MonsterTalk we talk with Jon Ronson about his experiences with conspiracy theorist David Icke.

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March 18th: Fear Itself

Why do we fear? What is fear? The Ressler Lab is located in the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta, and the studies they’re conducting seek to understand fear at the cellular, molecular and neural-circuitry level of granularity. Dr. Kerry Ressler, head of the lab, joins us to talk about that research and the neurological basis of fear.

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March 4th: El D20ablo — The Satanic Panic & Role-Playing Games

The late 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of a new kind of game. Dungeons & Dragons and its many competitors captivated many high-school and college students, but many parents and authority figures feared that these new games were a gateway to Satanic ritual and perhaps even murder. Author Joseph Laycock returns to discuss his new book: Dangerous Games.

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January 28th: A Fear of Spiders

One of the most common fears in the world is the fear of spiders. But what does a rationalist do when gripped by an irrational fear? MonsterTalk interviews author Lynne Kelly about her transition from arachnophobia to spider enthusiast. Note: This episode deals with spider sexual reproduction which includes masturbation and cannibalism.

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January 1st: Christmas Special # 2: An Inhabitant of Carcosa

Blake Smith reads aloud An Inhabitant of Carcosa, a story by Ambrose Bierce. The story itself is brief, but its impact on American horror literature is still being felt today.

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