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2018 Episodes

December 1st: Monsters and Folklore of the Balkans (episode 179)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we are joined by Christopher Klimovitz in a wide-ranging discussion of the history and monstrous folklore of the Balkans. From ghosts and vampires to fairies and Baba Yaga, this region has been fractured by war but bound together with stories.

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November 28th: The Bunyip Seal of Approval (episode 178)

In this episode, we go down to the billabong to look for a monster indigenous to Australian folklore and myth — but perhaps with a foot (-er flipper?) in the real world: The Bunyip. We are joined by cultural history professional Paul-Michael Donovan for a fascinating look at the legend (and a possible non-monstrous explanation) for this famous chimeric creek critter.

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November 11th: Appalachian Monsters (episode 177)

Asher Elbein and Tiffany Turrill join us to talk about monsters and folklore of Appalachia. Their new project about fictional witch Anna O’Brien draws heavily from authentic folklore of this storied region of the United States.

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October 31st: Big Footprints, Big Voice — Wild Thing (episode 176)

Bigfoot nests, the Patterson-Gimlin film, DNA testing — it’s all new to journalist and former NPR producer Laura Krantz. She’s digging into the world of Bigfoot in the popular new podcast Wild Thing, and she joins MonsterTalk to discuss what it’s like to walk into the strange world of cryptozoology as an outsider.

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October 29th: MT/AF Cross-Over 3: Attack of the Killer Tangents (episode 175)

Our third annual cross-over event with the Archy Fantasies Podcast features our combined efforts to find movies which highlight a theme familiar to listeners - and in keeping with our respective shows’ motifs. You’ll find ghosts, mummies, curses and plagues a plenty. We hope you enjoy it.

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October 24th: Introducing Blackwood

Five years ago, three teenagers set out to investigate the local legend of their small town, The Blackwood Bugman, and the mysterious disappearances and murders connected to him over the years. But as they soon come to find out, getting too close to the truth can be very dangerous. From the masterminds behind Hunt A Killer comes a chilling tale of secrets, monsters, and murder. Subscribe to Blackwood today at wondery.fm/monster.

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October 17th: The Appeal of Yurei (episode 174)

Dr. Chris Harding is a lecturer on Asian History at the University of Edinburgh. He has focused on Indian and Japanese history in his academic work, and recently wrote an article about Japanese ghost stories and their context in time. He joins MonsterTalk to discuss Yurei — the ghosts of Japan.

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October 10th: Smalltown Monsters (episode 173)

Since 2015, Seth Breedlove has been producing documentaries about cryptozoology and the impact that a cluster of monster sightings can have on a small town. His latest film is The Bray Road Beast, and Seth joins us to discuss the peculiar aspects of the creature that some have called a werewolf, a dog-man or even a demonic entity.

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October 4th: Jurassic Snark (episode 172)

This weekend (Oct 6 & 7, 2018) Darren Naish is hosting TetZoo Con #5. It’s also been 25 years since the release of Jurassic Park. To celebrate, and promote Darren’s convention, I thought it would be fun to talk dinosaurs with a paleontologist. It was. An extended (and somewhat NSFW) version of this interview is available to Patreon supporters of any level.

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October 3rd: Long and Drawn Out: Bigfoot Pictographs (episode 171)

An interview with archaeologist Ken Feder (see numerous other episodes including Giants and Atlantis) about the Tule River reservation Mayak Datat (“Hairy Man”) pictographs which have been called evidence for Bigfoot. Hopefully, this will be part 1 of at least a 2 part look.

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September 26th: To Sleep, Perchance to Scream (episode 170)

Blake and Karen interview Jeffrey Reddick, a Hollywood screenwriter, producer, and director (perhaps best known for penning Final Destination) about his recent horror film Dead Awake which combines fictional elements with the real-world phenomena of sleep paralysis.

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September 23rd: Seneca Legends (episode 169)

Karen and Blake interview David Shango from the Seneca Nation Museum (in Salamanca, NY) about the legends and monsters of the Seneca people. This is the first part of some dedicated focus on Native American lore which we plan to cover over the next few months.

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September 12th: Guns & Goblins: CryptidCon 2018 (episode 168)

Blake Smith and Jeb Card (Spooky Archaeology) discuss CryptidCon 2018 and Blake’s continuing research into the Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblins Case. (See MonsterTalk’s 3 part previous coverage: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) Additional notes later this week. Please check back.

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September 5th: Werewolves and Change (episode 167)

When did full moons become required in werewolf lore? Could the beast of Gevaudan have been a Hyena? Why does silver have such power in folklore? Can silver coins preserve milk? In episode 167 of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake discuss further discoveries about werewolf lore.

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August 29th: Chained Heir: Gothic Horror in Glamis Castle (episode 166)

Glamis Castle has secrets—and one of them is monstrous. Mike Dash (Spring Heeled Jack) joins us to talk about his research into the dark folklore around this ancient, beautiful household.

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August 23rd: Jail Ghost Round Table (episode 165)

Blake and Karen are joined again by Hayley Stevens (The Spooktator Podcast) to talk about haunted jails and prisons. Hayley previously appeared on MonsterTalk in episode # 36 to discuss lake monster mysteries.

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August 1st: Here Come The PERSONS In Black (episode 164)

Karen and Blake discuss the early history of Men in Black lore going back to some primary sources. Stories of mysterious strangers questioning and intimidating (and confounding) UFO investigators have a strange, continuously evolving history.

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July 25th: The Toll of A. Bell (episode 163)

MonsterTalk host Blake Smith looks back at the career and impact of radio-host Art Bell who passed away on April 13, 2018 at the age of 72. Bell’s influential radio show Coast to Coast AM (still being produced today with George Noory at the microphone) was the launching pad for thousands of stories of the bizarre, the mysterious and the conspiratorial. Was he simply an entertainer? Was he harmful to the American radio listener? Some thoughts on the cultural impact of this titan of the night.

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July 18th: Krampus in July (episode 162)

On a hot Summer day it’s nice to cool off and contemplate the hairy, horned winter monster of the Alps known as The Krampus. In MonsterTalk # 162, Blake interviews Al Ridenour, author of The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas. Al is also the host of the folklore and pop-culture podcast Bone & Sickle.

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July 14th: The Call of Tut-Thulhu (episode 161)

Archaeologist and author Jeb Card joins Blake Smith to discuss his new book Spooky Archaeology. The book is about many weird, spooky topics which are tied to the field of archaeology—but this episode spends a lot of time talking about the unusual connection between H. P. Lovecraft and the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb.

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June 27th: The Meg (episode 160)

Does a giant prehistoric shark lurk deep in the waters of the ocean, surviving against all odds to surprise us by occasionally biting a giant whale in half? No. But these animals did once exist and we don’t need to pretend they’re still alive to be blown away by their stunning biological features. We talk with Dr. Craig McClain about the amazing animal we call Megalodon.

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June 20th: Nessie Unloched (episode 159)

We interview Professor Neil Gemmell (@ProfGemmell) who is currently conducting eDNA research into various lake monsters of Scotland, especially Nessie and Morag. His lab at the University of Otago in New Zealand is hoping to find a lot of new information about the life within these cold, deep lakes using cutting edge techniques for gathering DNA from the waters at various depths.

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June 6th: An interview with Richard Hatem — Part II (episode 158)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we present part two of Blake’s interview with screenwriter Richard Hatem about his work adapting John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies for the 2002 motion picture. If you missed Part I last week, listen to it first.

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May 30th: An interview with Richard Hatem — Part I (episode 157)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake interviews screenwriter Richard Hatem about his work adapting John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies for the 2002 motion picture. This wide-ranging discussion is broken into two parts. Part two will air next week, but Patreon supporters will have early access through http://patreon.com/monstertalk.

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May 23rd: Magic: Sex, Drugs and Rocket Propulsion (episode 156)

The history of magic and science converged in the explosive life of Jack Parsons. By day he was a pioneer in the field of rocket propulsion whose work helped win WWII. By night he performed magic rituals and hoped to invoke powers which would change the world. Researcher Jerry Drake joins us to tell the astonishing story of Jack Parsons, a man whose short life seemed to intersect with some of the most intriguing figures in pop-culture, religion and science, but whose career contributions seemed on the verge of being forgotten until very recently. Parsons is the subject of a new CBS television series, based on the book Strange Angel. Warning: The subject matter of this episode may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion is advised.

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May 16th: The Greyfriars Kirkyard Ghost (episode 155)

Since the late 1990s people have been reporting strange incidents and injuries when touring the graveyard known as the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Some call it The Mackenzie Poltergeist, but whatever you call it it’s been the claimed cause of numerous injuries and scary stories. In this episode we interview City of the Dead tour-guide Fred Fogarty. We discuss the history of the site, some of the stories, and how one might do deeper research into this mystery. Note: Fred will be appearing at the Hawaii Paranormal Conference July 13–15, 2018.

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May 2nd: The Chicago Mothman—Site Seeing (episode 154)

Allison Jornlin is a paranormal researcher and host of The Otherside podcast. She’s been diligently researching the recent (2017–present) Chicago Mothman sightings as popularized on Lon Strickler’s Phantoms and Monsters website and book. You can find all of Allison’s on-site video recordings from her Mothman research on YouTube.

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April 18th: Spouting off about Gargoyles (episode 153)

We’re getting our minds in the gutter this week but hopefully won’t leave you drained as we climb into the nooks and crevices of Yale University’s gargoyles and grotesques with photographer and author Mathew Duman, author of An Education in the Grotesque: The Gargoyles of Yale University.

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March 28th: Rampage: A Huge Croc (episode 152)

In the new movie Rampage, a giant mutant crocodile joins up with a giant ape and a giant wolf to destroy Chicago. But this is not the first giant croc to hit the big screen. Lake Placid (1999) and Alligator (1980) are just two of the many horror films that pit giant crocodilians against puny humans. The fossil record tells us that giant crocs did once roam the earth, but are they still out there today? Join us as we talk with Dr. Paul Willis about crocodiles, alligators and the facts and myths surrounding these amazing but dangerous animals.

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March 14th: Magic: The Great Beast 666 (episode 151)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we complete our discussion about Western Esotericism with John L. Crow. In this final part we talk about the life of occultist Aleister Crowley, a man some called The Wickedest Man on Earth.

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February 28th: Magic: Spiritualism and Theosophy, Part II (episode 150)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we continue our discussion about Western Esotericism with John L. Crow. In part two, we talk about the origins of Theosophy, the nature of secret and occult societies in this era, and the groundwork that led to the rise of magical orders in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Theosophy figures into the modern Western conception of Tulpas, which we discussed in episode 86, and also Slenderman.

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February 14th: Winchester’s Cathedral (episode 149)

The Winchester Mystery House is a sprawling Victorian mansion in San Jose, California. It is a famous piece of American architectural history, yet nearly every story commonly told about its mysterious history is likely untrue. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we are joined by Colin Dickey, author of the fantastic book Ghostland to discuss the case of the Winchester house and some of the other fascinating places he covers in his fascinating work.

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January 31st: Magic: Spiritualism and Theosophy, Part I (episode 148)

The 19th century saw the rise of a variety of secret and secretive movements. Free Masons, Spiritualists, Theosophy and Esoteric Orders give rise to a variety of mystic-themed groups whose influence lurks under the mainstream themes of the 19th century. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we talk with religious studies scholar John L. Crow about the birth of these movements and how they influenced 19th (and 20th) century thought.

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January 17th: Alien Intrusion and the Ultraterrestrial Hypothesis (episode 147)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we return to discussion of the Ultraterrestrial Hypothesis (UTH) and what seems to be its growing influence in paranormal circles. It’s been used to explain UFOs, mothman, bigfoot, fairies, dogman, ghosts and many other phenomena which defy scientific demonstrability. Now it crops up again in a new film event titled Alien Intrusion which turned out to be a stealth evangelical creationist film which suggests that aliens and UFOs are actually demonic. We are joined by MonsterTalk alum Joe Laycock, Natasha Mikles and Jeb Card to discuss the UTH and Jeb’s Paranormal Unified Field Theory (PUFT) as it relates to this film and the work of John Keel and others.

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January 3rd: The Tail of the Lizard Man (episode 146)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we creep narratively into the swamps of South Carolina as we talk of the strange lizard man who is alleged to live in the swamps outside Bishopville. Lyle Blackburn leads our expedition as he recounts the story as told in his book Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster. Lyle previously joined us for episode 106: What The Fouke? The Beast of Boggy Creek.

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