title

American Hysteria

American Hysteria

336
Followers
1.6K
Plays
American Hysteria
American Hysteria

American Hysteria

American Hysteria

336
Followers
1.6K
Plays
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About Us

American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through explorations of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Poet turned podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of historical and modern American freak-outs, why we fear the wrong things, and the real social issues these bizarre panics act to covering up. An in-depth alternative history, the show also analyzes how issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class have informed our beliefs from the Puritans to the present.Subscribe now on Apple, Google, Spotify, or where ever you get your podcasts.

Latest Episodes

LIVE VARIETY HOUR

MAKE SURE to follow us on social media to get the visual companions to this episode!! Instagram: @americanhysteriapodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast Twitter: @amerhysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Follow Chelsey on Instagram @chelseywebersmith (https://www.instagram.com/chelseywebersmith/) For this very special episode, we present to you a mash-up of some of our favorite parts of American Hysteria’s LIVE VARIETY HOUR in Seattle. Special guests include Tinky Winky, Satan, Alex Jones, and John Harvey Kellogg. Expect drag, banned dances, urban legends told in the high school halls, favorite PSAs from the 80s and 90s, and even a little romance. CWS hosts this round up of the most hilarious and horrifying moments from season one. You’re gonna want to see our videos, make sure you head to our social media now! Guest hosted by our producer Rod Rodriguez. Produced by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Assistant Produced by Riley Smith Co-written, Produced, and Starring Lily Orrey, Erin McCarthy, and Will Rogers Produced, directed, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus, head to http://www.TheGreatCoursesPlus.com and use promo code 'AH' for a free month! Also sponsored by Daily Harvest. Head to DailyHarvest.com (https://www.daily-harvest.com/) promo code 'American'

41 MIN21 hours ago
Comments
LIVE VARIETY HOUR

Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast

Today I plan to lose all creditability among our dedicated skeptics by sharing my ghost experiences, talking about astrology, and even getting a tarot card reading. Instead of abandoning me, I ask you to indulge yourself into the unknown for just one episode. With the amazing Sapphire Sandalo of Something Scary asking me the kinds of questions I love, I promise to keep my skepticism alive while also respecting the great mysteries that have always fueled me, and led me here, to American Hysteria. Today’s episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant, head to nativedeodorant.com (https://www.nativecos.com/?utm_source=podcast) and use promo code AH for 20% off your first purchase. American Hysteria is produced by Clear Commo Studios (https://clearcommo.com/) Today’s episode was hosted by the brilliant Sapphire Sandlo Find her on Instagram @awkwardSapphire (https://www.instagram.com/awkwardsapphire/) Subscribe on iTunes to the Something Scary Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/something-scary/id1438162222) and follow Sapphire on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/sapphiresandalo) . Please come back next week for another very special episode, a special audio and visual event recorded live in Seattle, a vaudevillian variety hour, a circus of the moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories we covered in season one. In order to get the visual compliments to this show, please head to our social media: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/?hl=en) for Instagram /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHysteriaPodcast/) for Facebook @AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/amerhysteria?lang=en) for twitter

40 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast

AFTER SHOCK: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

In the summer of 1944, Americans saw terrifying headlines about a possible Nazi chemical weapons strike in the form of an invisible poison gas. Underneath those headlines, a small town in Illinois began experiencing apparent “anesthetic attacks” by a mysterious figure that would come to be known as the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Could it have been an escaped Nazi hellbent on the town's destruction? An urban legend leading to a mass hysteria? Or a sadistic homosexual trying to poison his intolerant neighbors with invisible gas? Subscribe to The Long Hallway here (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-hallway/id1471148772) or wherever you are listening right now. Coming Thursday is my teen horror writing and acting debut! The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Go to http://www.TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Next week's episode: Chelsey is interviewed about the other side of our reality.

17 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
AFTER SHOCK: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

Monsters

*This episode contains graphic racism* Monsters come from the darkness, from the depth of lakes and swamps, from the shadows of forests and hills, and live too in the dark parts of all of us. However, this episode is less about Bigfoot and more about the idea of the monstrous, and how it has been used as a tool to demonize black folks since the first slave ships landed in America, both through folktales and famous works of fiction. We also explore how Darwin's theory of evolution affected white Americans and led to the actual creation of human zoos that displayed African people as both the missing link and blood-thirsty monsters. This episode is sponsored by Embr Wave. Head to Embrwave.com and save $50 with code AH at checkout. American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Voice acting by Will Rogers Research assisted by Riley Smith Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Thanks to Miranda Zickler for advising Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast)

36 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Monsters

Ted Bundy

This 1970s rockstar biopic of a man whom we can all agree should be deeply reviled isn’t a new or shocking concept in America, the country with the world record for serial killers in the last 100 years. Zac Efron's sculpted and lovable Ted Bundy personifies an ongoing American obsession with this allegedly handsome killer turned celebrity, a man who confessed to 30 murders and brutal sexual assaults. What does it mean that these boogeymen for which we carry pepper spray, check our backseats, and deadbolt our doors have also become our sex symbols and household names? And what of women who love serial killers? How different are we from them when we cannot seem to look away? The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Special thanks to Miranda Zickler, check out her band Kuinka (htt...

15 MINJUL 22
Comments
Ted Bundy

Celebrity

Please take our LIVE SHOW survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8YTWCL5) , we want to come to your city! Whether we like to admit it or not, we have celebrities that we follow, and we can watch their dramatics play out on a public stage, their dramatics that remind us of our own. On this episode, we will trace the major events that shaped American fame as we know it, forming our fantastical ideas about celebrities and their personas on and off screen. We’ll explore the anthropology and psychology behind our celebrity celebrity obsession, a process that is actually embedded in our very DNA. We’ll also look at the history of the concept of personality, something that only came to be at the turn of the 19th century, that would shift our focus from what a person does to who a person is. The value of “character” was replaced with the value of “personality,” a philosophical shift has gotten us where we are today, for better and for worse. PLEASE TAKE OUR LIVE SHOW SURVEY SO WE CAN COME TO YOUR CITY! This episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant, for 20% off your first purchase head to nativedeodorant.com (https://www.nativecos.com/?utm_source=podcast) and use promo code AH This episode is also sponsored by the podcast Case Closed (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/case-closed/id1449997236) , subscribe to this great show wherever you listen to podcasts. American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Voice acting by Will Rogers Research assisted by Riley Smith Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast)

38 MINJUL 15
Comments
Celebrity

Skylark Presents: The Long Hallway

Subscribe to The Long Hallway on Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-hallway/id1471148772) , Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/4vqGtLebz27cEjedpyetCf) , Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/will-rogers/the-long-hallway) , or wherever you get your podcasts The Long Hallway is a thriller anthology series, releasing every Tuesday and Thursday. Behind each door lurks a tale designed to send a chill down your spine. These bite-sized, flash-fiction stories are written by members of the Skylark Media team. "Port Horizon" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

3 MINJUL 9
Comments
Skylark Presents: The Long Hallway

Parrot Fever

AFTER SHOCK: On this week's show we talk about a disease known as Parrot Fever that frightened the nation in 1929, leading to parrots being abandoned in the streets and thrown overboard from ships. But just as quickly, the hysteria gave way to ridicule as America and the media made Parrot Fever into a joke, a made-up illness, a silly panic. But in reality, sickness and death struck 20% of those who contracted Parrot Fever, and though the concern was overblown, the denial of its existence was too. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Next week's episode: Celebrity

14 MINJUL 8
Comments
Parrot Fever

Quackery

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle-brand ‘Goop’ and the expensive products it peddles are just the newest in a long line of medical quackery leading back to the 1800s. America has a long history with selling and buying Snake Oil, bogus cures to any ailment you can imagine, starting with the cowboy showman of the wild west, who sold to the masses through traveling vaudevillian performances. In addition to fake cures, historical American doctors and scientists also have a dark history of identifying and pathologizing both biological and mental illnesses that simply didn’t exist, ones that said much more about the culture’s values than it did about the people who were said to be ill. At the same time, the rich were being diagnosed in spades with a disorder known as Americanitis, leading to much more luxurious treatments. American alternative medicine, as dubious as it may be, formed as citizens rightly grew suspicious of the flawed medical establishment. Though fake cures are not grounde...

38 MINJUL 1
Comments
Quackery

AFTER SHOCK: Cooties

We all remember the very real threat of cooties, a contractable playground malady that developed out of the adult fear of germs. Cooties have long acted as a tool of kiddy quarantine as well as a tool to define who are the social others of the school hierarchy. Today we will dive into the long history of cooties, from wartime trenches to the jungle gym. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Get ticket to our LIVE Seattle show here (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/american-hysteria-variety-hour-seattle-tickets-61051071398) Next week’s episode: Quackery

14 MINJUN 24
Comments
AFTER SHOCK: Cooties

Latest Episodes

LIVE VARIETY HOUR

MAKE SURE to follow us on social media to get the visual companions to this episode!! Instagram: @americanhysteriapodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast Twitter: @amerhysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Follow Chelsey on Instagram @chelseywebersmith (https://www.instagram.com/chelseywebersmith/) For this very special episode, we present to you a mash-up of some of our favorite parts of American Hysteria’s LIVE VARIETY HOUR in Seattle. Special guests include Tinky Winky, Satan, Alex Jones, and John Harvey Kellogg. Expect drag, banned dances, urban legends told in the high school halls, favorite PSAs from the 80s and 90s, and even a little romance. CWS hosts this round up of the most hilarious and horrifying moments from season one. You’re gonna want to see our videos, make sure you head to our social media now! Guest hosted by our producer Rod Rodriguez. Produced by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Assistant Produced by Riley Smith Co-written, Produced, and Starring Lily Orrey, Erin McCarthy, and Will Rogers Produced, directed, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus, head to http://www.TheGreatCoursesPlus.com and use promo code 'AH' for a free month! Also sponsored by Daily Harvest. Head to DailyHarvest.com (https://www.daily-harvest.com/) promo code 'American'

41 MIN21 hours ago
Comments
LIVE VARIETY HOUR

Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast

Today I plan to lose all creditability among our dedicated skeptics by sharing my ghost experiences, talking about astrology, and even getting a tarot card reading. Instead of abandoning me, I ask you to indulge yourself into the unknown for just one episode. With the amazing Sapphire Sandalo of Something Scary asking me the kinds of questions I love, I promise to keep my skepticism alive while also respecting the great mysteries that have always fueled me, and led me here, to American Hysteria. Today’s episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant, head to nativedeodorant.com (https://www.nativecos.com/?utm_source=podcast) and use promo code AH for 20% off your first purchase. American Hysteria is produced by Clear Commo Studios (https://clearcommo.com/) Today’s episode was hosted by the brilliant Sapphire Sandlo Find her on Instagram @awkwardSapphire (https://www.instagram.com/awkwardsapphire/) Subscribe on iTunes to the Something Scary Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/something-scary/id1438162222) and follow Sapphire on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/sapphiresandalo) . Please come back next week for another very special episode, a special audio and visual event recorded live in Seattle, a vaudevillian variety hour, a circus of the moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories we covered in season one. In order to get the visual compliments to this show, please head to our social media: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/?hl=en) for Instagram /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHysteriaPodcast/) for Facebook @AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/amerhysteria?lang=en) for twitter

40 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast

AFTER SHOCK: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

In the summer of 1944, Americans saw terrifying headlines about a possible Nazi chemical weapons strike in the form of an invisible poison gas. Underneath those headlines, a small town in Illinois began experiencing apparent “anesthetic attacks” by a mysterious figure that would come to be known as the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Could it have been an escaped Nazi hellbent on the town's destruction? An urban legend leading to a mass hysteria? Or a sadistic homosexual trying to poison his intolerant neighbors with invisible gas? Subscribe to The Long Hallway here (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-hallway/id1471148772) or wherever you are listening right now. Coming Thursday is my teen horror writing and acting debut! The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Go to http://www.TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Next week's episode: Chelsey is interviewed about the other side of our reality.

17 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
AFTER SHOCK: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

Monsters

*This episode contains graphic racism* Monsters come from the darkness, from the depth of lakes and swamps, from the shadows of forests and hills, and live too in the dark parts of all of us. However, this episode is less about Bigfoot and more about the idea of the monstrous, and how it has been used as a tool to demonize black folks since the first slave ships landed in America, both through folktales and famous works of fiction. We also explore how Darwin's theory of evolution affected white Americans and led to the actual creation of human zoos that displayed African people as both the missing link and blood-thirsty monsters. This episode is sponsored by Embr Wave. Head to Embrwave.com and save $50 with code AH at checkout. American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Voice acting by Will Rogers Research assisted by Riley Smith Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Thanks to Miranda Zickler for advising Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast)

36 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Monsters

Ted Bundy

This 1970s rockstar biopic of a man whom we can all agree should be deeply reviled isn’t a new or shocking concept in America, the country with the world record for serial killers in the last 100 years. Zac Efron's sculpted and lovable Ted Bundy personifies an ongoing American obsession with this allegedly handsome killer turned celebrity, a man who confessed to 30 murders and brutal sexual assaults. What does it mean that these boogeymen for which we carry pepper spray, check our backseats, and deadbolt our doors have also become our sex symbols and household names? And what of women who love serial killers? How different are we from them when we cannot seem to look away? The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Special thanks to Miranda Zickler, check out her band Kuinka (htt...

15 MINJUL 22
Comments
Ted Bundy

Celebrity

Please take our LIVE SHOW survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8YTWCL5) , we want to come to your city! Whether we like to admit it or not, we have celebrities that we follow, and we can watch their dramatics play out on a public stage, their dramatics that remind us of our own. On this episode, we will trace the major events that shaped American fame as we know it, forming our fantastical ideas about celebrities and their personas on and off screen. We’ll explore the anthropology and psychology behind our celebrity celebrity obsession, a process that is actually embedded in our very DNA. We’ll also look at the history of the concept of personality, something that only came to be at the turn of the 19th century, that would shift our focus from what a person does to who a person is. The value of “character” was replaced with the value of “personality,” a philosophical shift has gotten us where we are today, for better and for worse. PLEASE TAKE OUR LIVE SHOW SURVEY SO WE CAN COME TO YOUR CITY! This episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant, for 20% off your first purchase head to nativedeodorant.com (https://www.nativecos.com/?utm_source=podcast) and use promo code AH This episode is also sponsored by the podcast Case Closed (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/case-closed/id1449997236) , subscribe to this great show wherever you listen to podcasts. American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Voice acting by Will Rogers Research assisted by Riley Smith Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: /AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://facebook.com/americanhysteriapodcast)

38 MINJUL 15
Comments
Celebrity

Skylark Presents: The Long Hallway

Subscribe to The Long Hallway on Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-long-hallway/id1471148772) , Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/4vqGtLebz27cEjedpyetCf) , Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/will-rogers/the-long-hallway) , or wherever you get your podcasts The Long Hallway is a thriller anthology series, releasing every Tuesday and Thursday. Behind each door lurks a tale designed to send a chill down your spine. These bite-sized, flash-fiction stories are written by members of the Skylark Media team. "Port Horizon" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

3 MINJUL 9
Comments
Skylark Presents: The Long Hallway

Parrot Fever

AFTER SHOCK: On this week's show we talk about a disease known as Parrot Fever that frightened the nation in 1929, leading to parrots being abandoned in the streets and thrown overboard from ships. But just as quickly, the hysteria gave way to ridicule as America and the media made Parrot Fever into a joke, a made-up illness, a silly panic. But in reality, sickness and death struck 20% of those who contracted Parrot Fever, and though the concern was overblown, the denial of its existence was too. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Next week's episode: Celebrity

14 MINJUL 8
Comments
Parrot Fever

Quackery

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle-brand ‘Goop’ and the expensive products it peddles are just the newest in a long line of medical quackery leading back to the 1800s. America has a long history with selling and buying Snake Oil, bogus cures to any ailment you can imagine, starting with the cowboy showman of the wild west, who sold to the masses through traveling vaudevillian performances. In addition to fake cures, historical American doctors and scientists also have a dark history of identifying and pathologizing both biological and mental illnesses that simply didn’t exist, ones that said much more about the culture’s values than it did about the people who were said to be ill. At the same time, the rich were being diagnosed in spades with a disorder known as Americanitis, leading to much more luxurious treatments. American alternative medicine, as dubious as it may be, formed as citizens rightly grew suspicious of the flawed medical establishment. Though fake cures are not grounde...

38 MINJUL 1
Comments
Quackery

AFTER SHOCK: Cooties

We all remember the very real threat of cooties, a contractable playground malady that developed out of the adult fear of germs. Cooties have long acted as a tool of kiddy quarantine as well as a tool to define who are the social others of the school hierarchy. Today we will dive into the long history of cooties, from wartime trenches to the jungle gym. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media production Written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Co-written and researched by Riley Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios (https://www.clearcommo.com/) Get ticket to our LIVE Seattle show here (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/american-hysteria-variety-hour-seattle-tickets-61051071398) Next week’s episode: Quackery

14 MINJUN 24
Comments
AFTER SHOCK: Cooties

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