title

American Hysteria

American Hysteria

401
Followers
2.1K
Plays
American Hysteria
American Hysteria

American Hysteria

American Hysteria

401
Followers
2.1K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

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

Terrorism: Part Two

*If you haven’t listened to our part one, please listen to it before this episode, it gives a very important context.* In part one of Terrorism, we looked at the history of domestic extremists on both the left and the right, from the slave revolts of the 1700s up through the formation and then rebranding of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as their violence during the era of desegregation. From there we looked at far left groups that developed in the late 1960s and early 70s, the Black Panthers and their sometimes allies, the Weather Underground. For part two, we'll move into the modern era, with the militia movements of the 1990s and the rise of white supremacist groups following Obama's election. In the last few years, we have seen movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter investigated as terrorist organizations, while the far left group known as Antifa battles in the streets with the newest iteration of organized white supremacists known as the Alt Right, whose young male members are radicalized through victim narratives on online message boards and disturbing meme propaganda. We'll end up in the park where I was once arrested as part of Occupy Charlottesville, the same park that just a handful of years later would see the most famous far right rally in recent history, as neo nazis carried tiki torches around a confederate monument, with one driving his car through a crowd of counter protesters, while the white supremacists screamed and chanted together about their terror at being replaced. Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Next week: Our season finale on Mind Control 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/) Research assisted by Riley Smith Recorded at Densmore Studios in Seattle Cover Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Huge thanks to Miranda Zickler for all her help 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)

35 MIN22 hours ago
Comments
Terrorism: Part Two

Wondery Presents 'American Elections: Wicked Game'

American Elections: Wicked Game is a new podcast from the host of Wondery’s American History Tellers (Lindsay Graham) that will explore all 58 presidential elections, leading up to the big day in November 2020. From the inevitable election of George Washington in 1789, to Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory in 2016, we’ll attempt to discover if there ever was a “good ol’ days,” or if presidential politics have always been played dirty. Listen now at: http://wondery.fm/AmericanElectionsAH

8 MIN5 days ago
Comments
Wondery Presents 'American Elections: Wicked Game'

Terrorism: Part One

Since 9/11, the fear of terrorism has centered on what we call Islamic extremism, but this two-part episode will instead explore a topic that is becoming more and more prevalent in our news cycle: domestic terrorism, the kind that is directed at Americans by Americans. We will explore both the radical movements of the far left and far right since this nation’s dark beginnings, and how one movement sought to use violent intimidation to maintain the status quo of white supremacy while the other side fought up upend it. We’ll start with the slave revolts of the 1700s and the “slave catchers” that represent the earliest version of what we now know as the police. We’ll reach the Ku Klux Klan’s beginning as well as the blockbuster hit that led to their rebranding in the 1920s, and their rise again during desegregation, just as the allegedly dangerous Black Panther Party of the late 1960s and their problematic white allies, the bomb-making Weather Underground, inspired serious govern...

39 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Terrorism: Part One

Wardrobe Malfunction

Eighty-four million Americans witnessed the greatest pop culture spectacle of 2004, when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Their live performance ended with what became known as a “wardrobe malfunction” when Justin ripped away a portion of Janet’s leather top, revealing her right breast complete with nipple piercing. This salacious scandal, sometimes called Nipplegate roused a moralistic America, even helping President George W. Bush to win his second term. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media (https://www.skylarkmedia.com/) 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/) Thanks to Miranda Zickler Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria ...

16 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
Wardrobe Malfunction

Pornography

EPornography has existed all over the world for all recorded time, and now porn websites are visited by an estimated 60 million Americans every month. With each new technological advancement, porn soon follows, and each generation subsequently fears for our vulnerable women and our uncontrollable men. For this episode, we’ll spend most of our time in the 1970s, also known as the “Golden Age of Porn,” when America was introduced to Andy Warhol’s Blue Movie, Deep Throat, Playboy, and Hustler. We’ll explore the subsequent feminist and fundamentalist fallout and the war on porn in the 1980s, spurred on by a surprising gruesome advocate. Porn has long been charged with corrupting the youth as well as normalizing, glorifying, and even causing sexual violence. Today we ask the question: What does porn do to us, or more accurately, what can porn make us do? American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited b...

36 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Pornography

Violent Video Games

Since the 1970s, violent video games have been a popular scapegoat used by Republicans and Democrats alike to explain mass shootings. From the extremely simplistic Death Race to the more realistic Mortal Kombat, Doom, and Call of Duty, what do our most comprehensive studies tell us about the effects of gory video games? How much have they truly influenced school shooters? And what does this manufactured panic act to cover up? The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media (https://www.skylarkmedia.com/) 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 TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/ameri...

14 MINSEP 16
Comments
Violent Video Games

Dangerous Teens

*Note: This episode states the chance of a K-12 student being killed by a school shooter as 1 in 614 million. This is the risk faced each day, not for an entire lifetime. My apologies for not making this clear. Thanks to statistician Chandler Piché for reaching out. Despite how these last few years have felt, schools are still statistically the safest place our kids and teenagers can be. Our evolving archetype of the goth mass shooter that was born out of the Columbine massacre isn’t accurate to who those young men really were, nor what they hoped to to achieve. From the Reagan and Bush era wars on crime and drugs came another kind of juvenile threat known as Superpredators, as The Central Park Five case demonized black kids as a violent mob wrecking havoc all over the nation, eventually leading social scientists and politicians to predict that their numbers would explode into the hundreds of thousands. With this in mind, when we demand political actions again extremely rare, thou...

39 MINSEP 9
Comments
Dangerous Teens

Furby

Many of us were gifted a strange robotic creature in the last years of the 1990s, a furry animatronic friend that children taught to speak, or so America believed. With misconceptions around the technology of Furby came strange urban legends and conspiracy theories about its possible use as spy equipment, the possibility of it crashing planes and stopping life support machines, and its alleged demonic possession that left an entire generation of kids haunted for years to come. 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 Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: Am...

16 MINSEP 2
Comments
Furby

Toy Riots

After the heavy first half of this season, I wanted us to take a little break together and have some fun. We will be covering the volatile toy riots of the 1980s and 90s, from Cabbage Patch Kids to Tickle Me Elmo to Beanie Babies to Pokemon. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to when adults created a market for these toys out of thin air, with pointless plush selling for tens of thousands of dollars, and we’ll even hear a little from my Grannie about her personal mission to find a precious Tickle Me Elmo. I’ll explore just what it is about these fad toys that have led adults to fight each other in the aisles, to break each other’s arms, to create smuggling rings, and even commit murder, sometimes trampling the very children the toys were made for. This episode is sponsored by Embr Wave. Head to Embrwave.com (http://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 Pr...

37 MINAUG 26
Comments
Toy Riots

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...

41 MINAUG 19
Comments
LIVE VARIETY HOUR

Latest Episodes

Terrorism: Part Two

*If you haven’t listened to our part one, please listen to it before this episode, it gives a very important context.* In part one of Terrorism, we looked at the history of domestic extremists on both the left and the right, from the slave revolts of the 1700s up through the formation and then rebranding of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as their violence during the era of desegregation. From there we looked at far left groups that developed in the late 1960s and early 70s, the Black Panthers and their sometimes allies, the Weather Underground. For part two, we'll move into the modern era, with the militia movements of the 1990s and the rise of white supremacist groups following Obama's election. In the last few years, we have seen movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter investigated as terrorist organizations, while the far left group known as Antifa battles in the streets with the newest iteration of organized white supremacists known as the Alt Right, whose young male members are radicalized through victim narratives on online message boards and disturbing meme propaganda. We'll end up in the park where I was once arrested as part of Occupy Charlottesville, the same park that just a handful of years later would see the most famous far right rally in recent history, as neo nazis carried tiki torches around a confederate monument, with one driving his car through a crowd of counter protesters, while the white supremacists screamed and chanted together about their terror at being replaced. Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Next week: Our season finale on Mind Control 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/) Research assisted by Riley Smith Recorded at Densmore Studios in Seattle Cover Art by Roache (https://www.xroache.com/) Huge thanks to Miranda Zickler for all her help 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)

35 MIN22 hours ago
Comments
Terrorism: Part Two

Wondery Presents 'American Elections: Wicked Game'

American Elections: Wicked Game is a new podcast from the host of Wondery’s American History Tellers (Lindsay Graham) that will explore all 58 presidential elections, leading up to the big day in November 2020. From the inevitable election of George Washington in 1789, to Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory in 2016, we’ll attempt to discover if there ever was a “good ol’ days,” or if presidential politics have always been played dirty. Listen now at: http://wondery.fm/AmericanElectionsAH

8 MIN5 days ago
Comments
Wondery Presents 'American Elections: Wicked Game'

Terrorism: Part One

Since 9/11, the fear of terrorism has centered on what we call Islamic extremism, but this two-part episode will instead explore a topic that is becoming more and more prevalent in our news cycle: domestic terrorism, the kind that is directed at Americans by Americans. We will explore both the radical movements of the far left and far right since this nation’s dark beginnings, and how one movement sought to use violent intimidation to maintain the status quo of white supremacy while the other side fought up upend it. We’ll start with the slave revolts of the 1700s and the “slave catchers” that represent the earliest version of what we now know as the police. We’ll reach the Ku Klux Klan’s beginning as well as the blockbuster hit that led to their rebranding in the 1920s, and their rise again during desegregation, just as the allegedly dangerous Black Panther Party of the late 1960s and their problematic white allies, the bomb-making Weather Underground, inspired serious govern...

39 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
Terrorism: Part One

Wardrobe Malfunction

Eighty-four million Americans witnessed the greatest pop culture spectacle of 2004, when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Their live performance ended with what became known as a “wardrobe malfunction” when Justin ripped away a portion of Janet’s leather top, revealing her right breast complete with nipple piercing. This salacious scandal, sometimes called Nipplegate roused a moralistic America, even helping President George W. Bush to win his second term. The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media (https://www.skylarkmedia.com/) 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/) Thanks to Miranda Zickler Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria ...

16 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
Wardrobe Malfunction

Pornography

EPornography has existed all over the world for all recorded time, and now porn websites are visited by an estimated 60 million Americans every month. With each new technological advancement, porn soon follows, and each generation subsequently fears for our vulnerable women and our uncontrollable men. For this episode, we’ll spend most of our time in the 1970s, also known as the “Golden Age of Porn,” when America was introduced to Andy Warhol’s Blue Movie, Deep Throat, Playboy, and Hustler. We’ll explore the subsequent feminist and fundamentalist fallout and the war on porn in the 1980s, spurred on by a surprising gruesome advocate. Porn has long been charged with corrupting the youth as well as normalizing, glorifying, and even causing sexual violence. Today we ask the question: What does porn do to us, or more accurately, what can porn make us do? American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited b...

36 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Pornography

Violent Video Games

Since the 1970s, violent video games have been a popular scapegoat used by Republicans and Democrats alike to explain mass shootings. From the extremely simplistic Death Race to the more realistic Mortal Kombat, Doom, and Call of Duty, what do our most comprehensive studies tell us about the effects of gory video games? How much have they truly influenced school shooters? And what does this manufactured panic act to cover up? The AFTER SHOCK is a Skylark Media (https://www.skylarkmedia.com/) 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 TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: AmericanHysteriaPodcast (https://www.instagram.com/ameri...

14 MINSEP 16
Comments
Violent Video Games

Dangerous Teens

*Note: This episode states the chance of a K-12 student being killed by a school shooter as 1 in 614 million. This is the risk faced each day, not for an entire lifetime. My apologies for not making this clear. Thanks to statistician Chandler Piché for reaching out. Despite how these last few years have felt, schools are still statistically the safest place our kids and teenagers can be. Our evolving archetype of the goth mass shooter that was born out of the Columbine massacre isn’t accurate to who those young men really were, nor what they hoped to to achieve. From the Reagan and Bush era wars on crime and drugs came another kind of juvenile threat known as Superpredators, as The Central Park Five case demonized black kids as a violent mob wrecking havoc all over the nation, eventually leading social scientists and politicians to predict that their numbers would explode into the hundreds of thousands. With this in mind, when we demand political actions again extremely rare, thou...

39 MINSEP 9
Comments
Dangerous Teens

Furby

Many of us were gifted a strange robotic creature in the last years of the 1990s, a furry animatronic friend that children taught to speak, or so America believed. With misconceptions around the technology of Furby came strange urban legends and conspiracy theories about its possible use as spy equipment, the possibility of it crashing planes and stopping life support machines, and its alleged demonic possession that left an entire generation of kids haunted for years to come. 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 Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AH (http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/AH) now to get a free month of unlimited learning! Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: AmerHysteria (https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: Am...

16 MINSEP 2
Comments
Furby

Toy Riots

After the heavy first half of this season, I wanted us to take a little break together and have some fun. We will be covering the volatile toy riots of the 1980s and 90s, from Cabbage Patch Kids to Tickle Me Elmo to Beanie Babies to Pokemon. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to when adults created a market for these toys out of thin air, with pointless plush selling for tens of thousands of dollars, and we’ll even hear a little from my Grannie about her personal mission to find a precious Tickle Me Elmo. I’ll explore just what it is about these fad toys that have led adults to fight each other in the aisles, to break each other’s arms, to create smuggling rings, and even commit murder, sometimes trampling the very children the toys were made for. This episode is sponsored by Embr Wave. Head to Embrwave.com (http://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 Pr...

37 MINAUG 26
Comments
Toy Riots

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...

41 MINAUG 19
Comments
LIVE VARIETY HOUR

Show

Playlists

weird
Jo Stanford
Halloween
Tara Sapphire
Watch First
KaraLCoffey
Bastards & Inevetable Disaster
kitaitampls