American Hysteria

By chelsey weber-smith

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Subscribers: 1213
Reviews: 8

Raven
 Dec 24, 2020
Leftist hag on steroids hyperventilating on stale commie air.


 Nov 5, 2020
High production values, smart and well-spoken narrator, topics that make you excited to listen to new episodes. Definitely will binge once you discover this podcast!


 Mar 24, 2020


 Feb 20, 2020

Sarah
 Feb 19, 2020
I enjoy this podcast so much! Well researched and presented, thought provoking, and fun. And it just keeps getting better! (Added at the start of the new season, Feb, 2020; heartbreakingly good.)

Description

American Hysteria explores the moral panics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and fantastical thinking that shape our culture and why we end up fearing and believing in the unreal. Using sociology, psychology, biology, and a whole lot of research, poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith charts their own journey from fantastical thinker to flexible skeptic, while detailing the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying stories of American freak-outs from the Puritans to the present, and the complex social issues around race, gender, sexuality, and class that they often act to cover up.

Episode Date
Trash Talk Shows
3489

There are few pieces of popular culture as problematic as the trash talk shows of the 1980s and 90s. Many of us remember Jerry Springer, Geraldo, Jenny Jones, and so many others trying to outdo each other in a parade of sensationalized deviance. The more outrageous, the better, but some of what was considered outrageous then is different than it is today. These programs certainly reinforced stereotypes and exploited their guests for profit, but like the Freak Shows of the past, they also offered national visibility for unseen individuals and the groups they represented. This episode explores how this platform changed American culture for better and for worse, the elitist attitudes that looked down on this low brow entertainment, and how these hallmark American productions are mirrored in our fist fights today, online and off

Thanks to our sponsor Skillshare, get your reef trial of Premium Membership skillshare.com/hysteria

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly, including our brand new podcast Walk with Me  

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler  
Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Find our merch at americanhysteria.com

Jan 11, 2021
'Falling for Fascism' Emergency Re-Release
1978

Due to the what appears to be an attempted coup happening right now at the Capitol, I wanted to re-release this vital interview immediately. Please listen and share if you can. This is the colossal power of conspiracy theories.

Today we are talking to
Jason Stanley, Jewish-American professor of philosophy at Yale University and author of the New York Times bestselling book 'How Fascism Works'. He'll help us understand more about the relationship between conspiracy theories, moral panics, and the tactics of fascist movements.  Make sure you check out Jason's book 'How Fascism Works', it's vital!

Jan 06, 2021
War on Christmas (Re-Release)
3134

This is a re-release of our War on Christmas Special from 2019, which definitely still feels relevant in this very different year of 2020. From all of us at American Hysteria, we send you our love and our cautious hope for 2021, and we wish you Happy Holidays.

This episode was sponsored by BetterHelp, head to betterhelp.com/americanhysteria

Dec 21, 2020
Seekers and Swindlers with Glynn Washington
2766

Podcaster and storyteller Glynn Washington grew up in an extremist religious sect called the Worldwide Church of God and also hosted the Heaven’s Gate podcast about the UFO cult that famously committed a mass suicide in 1997. He’ll tell us all about this experience and how it shaped him, and together we will talk about how cults draw well-meaning people in, and what it means to be a seeker.

For more monthly content become a Patron and get access to our new exclusive podcast called Walk with Me

This episode was produced by Miranda Zickler, check out her band Ladies and their new cover of Blue Christmas with more at listentoladies.com

Sound by Clear Commo Studios

Dec 14, 2020
Charismatic Leaders
3751

The charismatic leaders we are talking about today offer utopia and doomsday, salvation and absolute truth, perfection of the self and of the world at large, as long you dedicate yourself completely to the reality of these embodied Gods. Their radical alternate realities can draw in hundreds, thousands, even millions, as they preach spiritual wholeness and heaven, equality and communalism, or apocalyptic visions of a degrading nation, promising they alone can make it great again. For this episode, we’ll look at some lesser known leaders of cults and new religious movements from the puritans to the present, and we’ll also investigate Narcissistic Personality Disorder, collective narcissism, and cognitive dissonance to try to make sense of how these leaders have molded our history and how they are radically affecting our present.

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly, including our brand new podcast Walk with Me

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler

Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Find our merch at americanhysteria.com

Dec 07, 2020
Walk with Me
2377

“I would like to step out of my heart/and go walking beneath the enormous sky”, poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in 1918, probably consumed with a similar human anxiety to the one we each bear every weirdass day of our lives. This is the first episode of our new biweekly Patron’s-only podcast where you’ll come on a walk with me, either literally or figuratively, from wherever you happen to be. Walks facilitate, by nature of our very biology, more creative ways of thinking about the world; they are a liminal place where small things happen that feel big, things that can change you. Fair warning, this new show is very different from American Hysteria, and you’ll have to be willing to roll with me out of history and logic and into that dreaded contemplative, meditative territory of ethereal questions and embodied experience, and perhaps worst of all, the joy at the miracle of being alive. I hope you might be willing to share your own thoughts eventually too, so that we can turn this into a kind of ramblin’ collaboration. So, in this time when walks are one of the only things we know are safe to do, I hope you’ll come and walk with me.

If you like this episode, become a patron now for a new episode every two weeks as well as more bonus content!

Music by Miranda Zickler
Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith

Nov 30, 2020
Black Evangelicalism and the Christian Right with Anthea Butler and Lerone A. Martin
3272

Today we are talking to two scholars of religion, Professor Lerone A. Martin of Washington University in St. Louis and Professor Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania about the relationship between white and black evangelicalism and televangelism in the 20th century through the present day. Lerone is also the author of Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion and Anthea is the author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World, and the forthcoming White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America.

Next week, you’ll hear episode one of our new Patrons' only podcast, Walk with Me. Find our Patreon here! After that we will be covering Charismatic Leaders.

Produced by Miranda Zickler (check out her band's new single here)
Sound by Clear Commo Studios

Nov 23, 2020
Televangelists
3119

At this point in American culture, televangelists are often seen as overblown parodies, with their pleas for private jets, their fiery sermons, their many scandalous falls from grace. However, millions of people believe in the messages of these celebrity Christians who preach the Prosperity Gospel, that money donated to their megachurches will return to the donor in fantastical ways. Since the 1950s, conservative political preaching has slowly weaved into the gospels of prominent televangelists who have hidden ulterior motives under stories of societal decay. Since the 1970s, these pop-preachers have been able to rally the coveted ‘white Evangelical vote’ to advance right-wing policies and presidents, with 80% voting for Donald Trump in 2016, contributing profoundly to his victory.

Next time on the show: Charismatic Leaders

Consider donating to Jay Bakker’s Revolution Church

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Find our merch at americanhysteria.com

Nov 16, 2020
Falling for Fascism with Jason Stanley
2036

Today we are talking to Jason Stanley, Jewish-American professor of philosophy at Yale University and author of the New York Times bestselling book 'How Fascism Works'. He'll help us understand more about the relationship between conspiracy theories, moral panics, and the tactics of fascist movements.

Make sure you check out Jason's book 'How Fascism Works', it's vital!

Next time on the show: Televangelists
Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced by Miranda Zickler
Sound by Clear Commo Studios

Become a Patron for extra content every month!

Nov 09, 2020
Fake News
3082

PLEASE VOTE!!! Fake news was the unofficial buzzword of 2016, as incendiary disinformation spread prolifically across the tabloids, TV news reports, and social media, along with accusations of liberal media bias and even accusations of a democratic satanic cult. Some of what we are covering today are fantastical hoaxes that duped a gullible American public, priming future generations with a preference for the almost-unbelievable. But we’ll also look at how atrocity propaganda has been used by opportunist media outlets and politicians to get rich and to help incite literal and cultural war. Through examining fascist tactics, we’ll also see the dangers of constructing alternate realities, and how stories that hit on our most base emotions are controlling our personal and national consciousness and the future of our democracy at large.

Please consider donating to First Draft News
Check out the awesome Wild Wild Tech podcast
Check our voice actor Will Rogers and his sister Kristen Anderson in the hilarious and spooky podcast Guide to the Unknown

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler
Voice Acting by Will Rogers and directed by Kristen Anderson

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Find our merch at americanhysteria.com

Nov 02, 2020
CrimeCon and Columbiners with Rachel Monroe
2793

Today we’ll be talking with one of the big influences for our True Crime episode, Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession. Rachel talks to us about true crime fandom, getting to know the real people behind the sensational stories, and the impact of crime narratives on public policy.

Next time on the show: Fake News

PLEASE VOTE OMG PLEASE VOTE!!!!!

Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced by Miranda Zickler
Sound by Clear Commo Studios

Sponsored by Anchor Podcasts

Oct 26, 2020
True Crime
3168

To this day, glossy tabloids show the face of a six-year-old pageant girl murdered in a wine cellar in 1996, and 20 years later, an NBC special about the unsolved case still pulled in more viewers than the Emmys. Over the last few years, America has experienced a serious boom in True Crime entertainment; endless docuseries, TV shows, films, podcasts, and books, but our fascination with crimes that have nothing at all to do with us is a part of American history, and in fact, a part of human history as well. On this episode we will explore our most sensational boogiemen: uncaught sadistic geniuses, sociopathic hippy cults, allegedly handsome men with broken arms calling you into their cars, and silent killers slipping into your window at night. But we will also chart our historical reactions to this content, our intrinsic desire to become armchair sleuths and what that says about the psychology and biology of this thing called Justice, and how the public fear of these rare, sensationalized murders has aided Law and Order policies by making us all into future victims.

Please consider donating to the Insight Prison Project

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!

Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Oct 19, 2020
Happy Halloween, It's Season Four!
133

American Hysteria is back for season four beginning October 19th! Join us as we investigate our ‘vehicles of hysteria’, everything from True Crime to Televangelists, Tabloid Talk Shows to Fake News to see how pop culture, the media, misinformation, and disinformation have influenced and manipulated the reality we share, and sometimes, the reality we don’t.

Become a Patron for more content every month

Follow us on social media
Instagram: @americanhysteriapodcast
Twitter: @amerhysteria

Oct 05, 2020
KILLER CLOWNS with 'You're Wrong About'
3329

Just in time to kick off this Halloween season, I got to be a guest on the amazing podcast ‘You’re Wrong About’ talking what else, but killer clowns.

Mike Hobbes and Sarah Marshall are super smart and hilarious journalists obsessed with the past. Every week they reconsider a person or event that's been miscast in the public imagination. They talk about everything and everyone from Tonya Harding to Koko the Gorilla, from sexting to acid rain, and of course the Satanic Panic. 'You're Wrong About' is so much like American Hysteria, we call it a sibling show.

American Hysteria will be back in mid October, in the meantime follow us on Instagram @americanhysteriapodcast and Twitter @amerhysteria

Go subscribe to You’re Wrong About! Here are links to Apple and Spotify.

Follow YWA on Twitter: @yourewrongabout @remember_sarah @rottenindemark

Sep 21, 2020
WE GOT MERCH
133

We finally have the extremely dope merch you’ve been asking for, and it's ready for preorder! The design (from Brothers Design Co (https://brothersdesignco.com/) ) reimagines our razor-blade-in-the-apple logo with brand new nods to the illuminati and the Satanic Panic. Shipping in September just in time for our season four premiere and Halloween, find the design on our social media or our website. Links below!   Get a special discount code with you follow us on social media.

Click here to order!
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

All proceeds from our preorder are going to BEAM, Black Emotional and Mental Health, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking down the barriers to healing for the Black community. All our products are made eco-friendly and Fair Labor Certified in the USA.

Jul 31, 2020
Rewind: #WayfairGate // Satanic Panic
2660

Over our summer break, we will be rereleasing some of our old episodes as they become relevant in the present moment with an intro explaining their new context. This episode talks about a brand new conspiracy theory called #WayfairGate which alleges that the furniture company is trafficking children in boxes through the mail. We'll explore the theory first and then give you a chance to re-listen to the related topic of satanic ritual abuse we covered in season one in our episode called Satanic Panic Part 2.

Jul 27, 2020
Death
2876

For our season finale, we will be exploring our ultimate human fear, our number one cognitive dissonance that arguably leads to all our American hysterias, all our archetypes, beliefs, and delusions, our moral panics. We’ll be taking at look at the historical progression of how Americans have dealt with mortality starting with a place known as the Disneyland of Death, then traveling back to learn about the Puritan idea of the Good Death, and then see how the mass casualties of the Civil War and Lincoln’s embalmed corpse changed our relationship to bodies and immortality, all the way up to the present day tech billionaires funding strange new science to live forever. But we’ll also explore how, historically, the deaths of Black people have been treated in an almost polar opposite way to the deaths of white people, and how the echoes of this reality reach into the present day. Through a psychological concept known as the Terror Management Theory, we’ll try to understand how this uniquely human knowledge of our inevitable deaths shapes our psychology, society, and culture.

We will be taking a hiatus for the summer but please stay with us, stay subscribed, follow us on social media or if you can, become a Patron. We love you all so much, thank you for being the best audience we could ever hope for <3

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Consider donating to the nonprofits and organizations we mentioned in this episode.
This week's #AmericanHysteriaBookClub (on Instagram) Worm at the Core by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski 
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Jun 22, 2020
What We Inherit: A Brief History of American Racism
2390

The national and international protests over the death of George Floyd have generated larger and more widespread conversations about systemic racism in the United States. We hope to use our platform to help provide context and understanding around our shared moment in history, to show how our past creates our present, and to help illuminate how anti-Black racism has been passed on through our culture and politics, changing with each generation but also very much staying the same.

Here are some books by Black authors that helped create this episode that we strongly recommend for further reading:
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Choke Hold by Paul Butler
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
This episode was put together by Chelsey Weber-Smith, Riley Smith, Rod Rodriguez, and Miranda Zickler.

Jun 15, 2020
A message from the team
200

Like many shows, we are taking a break this week. We will be back next Monday with an audio guide that we hope can provide historical context and understanding around the nation-wide protests. After that we will be back with our season finale. Please take care of yourselves and others.

Here are some nonprofits and groups to support:
People's Kitchen Collective
Reparations
Homeless Backpacks
GiveDirectly

Jun 08, 2020
#Gamergate
1373

The internet hate campaign known as #gamergate began in February of 2013 when video game developer Zoe Quinn put out a simple, text-based game called Depression Quest that attempted to show players what it was like to live with this illness. After receiving positive reviews and write-ups, a swath of misogynistic trolls in the gaming community took to message boards to rail on the game they saw as a feminist, political correctness conspiracy to infiltrate their male dominated space, and the fire was only stoked by a long-winded “call out” by Zoe’s ex-boyfriend leading to mass harassment including death threats, rape threats, and the leaking of Zoe’s email, social media, phone number, home address, and nude photos.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith
Co-produced by Miranda Zickler

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jun 01, 2020
Men's Rights
3091

In 2014, a young man named named Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree as revenge for the beautiful women who had denied him the sex he believed he was entitled to. In February of 2020, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was presented with one of the highest national honors, a man who has never shied away from his theories about the oppressive forces of “Feminazis.” There are growing subcultures of men who subscribe to the idea that is is American men, not women, who are the true victims of oppression, while at the same time, condoning and even committing violence against women. But we’ll look at the far more gentle roots of both the Involuntary Celibacy culture and Men’s Rights Movement, and how they were once spaces of support and solidarity. In order to understand the problems of toxic masculinity, we’ll have to look at all its victims, not just women, but the men that suffer under its demands as well.

Please consider donating to A Call to Men

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

May 25, 2020
The Curse of the Lottery
1632

Have you ever heard of the Curse of the Lottery? The legend that most, if not all big winners eventually face everything from bankruptcy to untimely death? We’ll explore whether there is any truth to this alleged phenomenon through a handful of stories that both support and refute this modern urban legend, a kind of folkloric Monkey’s Paw story that tells us, be careful what you wish for.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith
Co-produced by Miranda Zickler

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

May 04, 2020
Get Rich Quick
2969

The search for untold riches has always been at the heart of America, from its very beginning as a nation founded on the search for gold. For this episode, we’ll look at several manifestations of this hope to “get rich quick” and the psychology of luck and ritual, of dreams themselves, both dreams of the future, and dreams that predict it. We’ll start with the most modern get rich quick ideas in the style of The Secret, the 2006 self-help book that make Americans believe that all you need to do to become wealthy is to manifest it with your thoughts, and that the poor are poor because they are attracting poverty to themselves. Then we’ll look at the way that the colonies were funded by early lotteries, the strange rituals of treasure hunting, and the way the gold rush changed American psychology. We’ll look too at the stories happening in the background, the far more modest dreams of black enslaved and oppressed people, who had their own rituals and had their own dreams to get rich quick in a different sense, buying their freedom through winning the lottery and finding economic stability through the underground Harlem lottery known as the numbers game. We’ll ask the question of just who can get rich quick and ask if hope is the greatest American hysteria of them all.

Please consider donating to Friends of Public School Harlem.

Voice acting by Tamika Lawrence, check out her music here
American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Apr 27, 2020
Confederate Monuments and The Lost Cause
1386

Since the tragedies of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville and the Charleston Church shooting that killed nine black members, the display of monuments and flags representing the fallen Confederacy have been hotly debated. Are they racist symbols of hate or are they symbols of an unshakable Southern pride? Arguing that the American Civil War was fought over states' rights instead of the preservation of slavery, this alternative narrative called The Lost Cause is still taught in the majority of high school classes today. On this episode, we will explore the true reasons for the Civil War in the words of confederate leaders as well as the words of Union president Abraham Lincoln, words which demonstrate that this heroes-versus-villains story isn’t as simple as it seems. We will also trace these monuments and symbols back to the movements for Civil Rights, when most of them were actually constructed, during the second rise of the KKK in the 1920s and the battles over segregation in the 1950s and 60s. We’ll ask the question, does the veneration of the Confederacy really represent Southern pride, or does it degrade it? And more importantly, is the story we tell worth the cost?

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith
Co-produced by Miranda Zickler

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Apr 06, 2020
Rednecks
3211

For this episode we are dissecting the archetype of American rednecks, hillbillies, and those we call white trash, a group often accused of being the “real” racists who make up the deplorable “Trump Country." But we'll be examining who is really to blame, starting with the plantation elites of the 1700s who created categories of race to break up the poor who were revolting against the government, resulting in centuries of brutal slavery and what we now know as white privilege. We’ll look at the region of Appalachia and the construction of the dangerous, deviant, simple minded white hillbilly created by local color writers. I’ll explain how this area’s union battles that united black and white folks in a dramatic fight for their workers’ rights led to the migration of “hillbillies” into cities, eventually aiding in the success of the eugenics movement. By the civil rights era, we’ll see more racial solidarity, with Black Panther Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Party Coalition in the city of Chicago. Soon after, famous “hillbilly horror” movies of the 1970s like Deliverance reinforced and solidified our view of the banjo playing blood-thirsty backwoods idiot who is a direct threat to the white middle class. In the current political climate, those scapegoated as the “real racists” are often the working class rural poor, though history and modern culture tell a very different story.

Please consider donating to the Highlander Research and Education Center

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Mar 30, 2020
Beards
1152

On this episode we explore the history of one of the most hipster of trends, how facial hair has come to represent masculinity, the pastoral fantasy, and of course, white supremacy. Whether our men wear beards or go clean-shaven says more than you might expect about the culture of the time, and it certainly says some interesting things about the trend that defines the modern hipster.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Mar 23, 2020
Hipsters
2993

Throughout my lifetime I have been both a middle class college student and a summer hitch-hiker dead set on finding the real heart of America, and on this episode I’ll cop to the facts: I’m a poser. We will explore one of the most hated archetypes of the modern age: the ironically-dressed middle and upper class young adults whose aggressive individuality is anything but. The hipsters we know today are not a new phenomenon, and neither is the phenomenon we know as ‘cool.' We’ll look at the long term history of the hippest white kids who shirked their privilege to experience to the life of the marginalized, copying black, queer, and blue collar culture and pouring into spaces where the mainstream forbade them to go. From the transcendentalists of the 1800s and the ‘slumming parties’ of their urban counterparts, to the jazz age popularity of cool black musicians and wild queer drag parties, to the beat poet Jack Kerouac’s hitchhiking days and Nirvana’s grungy working class flannel trend, hipsters have always sought to emulate those without the same privilege, and maybe, in the process, absolve themselves of their own.

Please consider donating to Black Art Futures Fund

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Mar 16, 2020
School Spirit
1121

Whether you were a cheerleader, a football player, a painted fan, or a bad kid under the bleachers, you will certainly remember this very American phenomenon called school spirit. Beginning with the creation of the modern high school after the Great Depression, we’ll take a look at the development of this aggressive pride, of cheerleading, of the pledge of allegiance, and how school spirit has acted since its beginnings as a kind of training wheels for nationalism.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith
Co-produced by Miranda Zickler

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Mar 09, 2020
Suburbia
2791

For this episode, we are covering the uncanny cul-de-sacs of American suburbia, how this way of life formed, and how it has served as both a wholesome and creepy national archetype since a devastating 1871 Chicago fire caused the first affluent white flight from the city. We’ll look at how architects designed the manicured, identical, segregated white suburbs that popular culture eventually turned into horror movie fodder. Along with the lawns and trees that represent a long term obsession with nature and its conquering, we’ll look too at the anxiety and grinding boredom that housewives faced, and the exciting danger suburbanites have simultaneously hidden from and yearned for, a realness that would turn their black and white lives into color.

Consider donating to the Preservation of Affordable Housing

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Mar 02, 2020
Got Milk?
997

Growing up in the 90s, kids were targeted by a widespread campaign featuring what felt like every single cool celebrity sporting an iconic white mustache and singing the praises of milk. But, nutritionally, milk isn't all its cracked up to be. So where did this uniquely American obsession start, and how did this beverage, one that humans are not naturally designed to drink, become a symbol for our nation and even for white supremacy?

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith
Co-produced by Miranda Zickler

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Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Feb 24, 2020
Burgers
2692

Welcome to our season three premiere! Whether we’re conscious of it or not, hamburgers have always been an American symbol, a metaphor for our special brand of cognitive dissonance as well as our obsession with masculinity, dominance, and conquering. We have heard a lot about the horrors of factory farming, but this episode hopes to look at our relationship to meat and animals in a different way. We’ll look at the plains of the west where colonizers killed millions buffalo to make way for the cows we know today, the cowboy fantasies enshrined by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows, the beef scandals that have rocked our nation since the 1800s, the fast food chains that put a smiling face back on meat, and the War on Burgers that conservative forces are invoking today. we’ll see how our long term attachment to our culinary contribution to the world is really a kind of long term hysteria, an attachment to an original manifest destiny, a story that has long disguised hard truths with happy meals.

Please consider donating to the One Spirit Lokota nonprofit

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Feb 17, 2020
Season Three Trailer
114
We are stoked to announce that our season three premieres this coming Monday, February 17th! On this season we're going to explore our most ingrained beliefs, delusions, and archetypes, how cognitive dissonance shapes our culture, and how our reality is created by the stories we tell, especially the stories we tell ourselves.  Listen to American Hysteria's season three premiere February 17th wherever you get your podcasts.
Feb 10, 2020
Team Huddle: An American Hysteria Q&A
2393
For this episode, we gather the American Hysteria team together to answer some of the questions asked on social media. We share our experience making the show and just what goes into the production, both literally and emotionally. We also share some intel about our newest season, premiering February 17th. Hear from: Host Chelsey Weber-Smith Producer Rod Rodriguez of Clear Commo Studios (https://clearcommo.com/) Research Assistant Riley Smith With this episode hosted by Panic Monday's Miranda Zickler Make sure to check out my interview and all the amazing LGBTQ interviews on the Pride podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pride/id1460038024) wherever you listen. This episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant, head to http://www.nativedeodorant.com and use promo code AH at checkout. Our season 3 premieres on February 17th! Stay tuned!
Feb 03, 2020
Celebrity Urban Legends: 'Panic Monday' Off-Season Talk Show
2066

This is our off season talk show, ‘Just Another Panic Monday.’ If you are new to American Hysteria, head to the main episodes of season one or two to get a feel for our show, and then catch up with us here! Season three will premiere February 17, 2020. Whether it was Marilyn Manson's rib removal, Mr. Rogers's secret tattoos, George Bush's Satanic lineage, Tommy Hilfiger's racist comments, or Katy Perry's past as Jon Benet Ramsey, it's more than likely that you've gossiped about at least one of the urban legends we are covering for this episode. So come enjoy the salaciousness Americans need as we explore the origins and legacies of the most bizarre and enduring tales about the celebrities we love to hate.

American Hysteria: Just Another Panic Monday is co-hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith and Miranda Zickler
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios

Jan 20, 2020
Looking for An Alien Vortex with Euphomet
1486

Since we are on a break this week, I wanted to share with you my former work with an incredible paranormal podcast called Euphomet. Together with host and my good friend Jim Perry, we were once invited to Sedona, AZ to climb to the top of Bell Rock in search of alien vortexes with a man famous in his time-- the only attorney to actually sue the US Government for UFO information under the Freedom of Information Act. So today, balance your healthy skepticism with a little bit of magic, or at least, a more heartfelt look at the great unknown. Listen to 'Euphomet' wherever you get your podcasts. 

Jan 06, 2020
War On Christmas Special
3087

This is a surprise early Season Three premiere! Merry Whatever y'all! Learn about the history of America's relationship to Christmas, and the several wars that have been fought in the name of and against this always controversial holiday, as well as some of the darker sides and forgotten traditions that may change your perspective on the season of giving for good.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Dec 26, 2019
Bloody Mary: 'Panic Monday' Off-Season Talk Show
2320

This is our off season talk show, ‘Just Another Panic Monday.’ If you are new to American Hysteria, head to the main episodes of season one or two to get a feel for our show, and then catch up with us here! The urban legend Bloody Mary has long acted as a rite of passage for slumber partiers all over the United States and beyond. Perhaps you once heard stories from your peers of this terrifying phantom's appearance in dimly lit mirrors, or even saw something sinister yourself, candle in hand. Pop culture often writes-off sleepovers as frivolous mush, but today Miranda and I are diving deep into the folklore of Bloody Mary, Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board, M.A.S.H., the concentration game, and rec room séances to show that these secret rites are vital to the process of growing up. We’ll explain some of the sociology and psychology, as well as the possible biology, behind these bizarre rituals that allow the young to test the boundaries of reality and themselves, acting as portal through which they can view their possible futures, both the bleak and the beautiful. 

Just Another Panic Monday is co-hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith and Miranda Zickler
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios

Dec 16, 2019
We need your help!
141

Join our Patreon now! American Hysteria has officially left our network and we are striking out on our own for the very first time. We need your help to keep the show going strong while we work on season three. If American Hysteria has been important to you, please consider donating to our Patreon and actively join us in the work that we do. You'll get extra content each month, live streams, shout-outs on the show, and even a chance to help us with the process of creating American Hysteria. Thanks so much for all your support and care so far! It means the world to us.

Dec 03, 2019
Black Friday: 'Panic Monday' Off-Season Talk Show
2071

For the next several weeks, my co-host Miranda Zickler and I will explore a handful of our favorite American freak-outs in a more casual way, while still giving you the same stories you love. This week’s topic: Black Friday. We'll learn the history of this strange American phenomenon that sees consumers fight, sometimes violently, to score the best deals of the year. We'll dive into some of the wildest stories from first fights to shoot outs, and talk about the psychology behind Black Friday, and just how corporations manipulate Americans into shopping until they drop...dead.

American Hysteria: Just Another Panic Monday is co-hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith and Miranda Zickler
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios

Dec 02, 2019
Disney Subliminal Messages: 'Panic Monday' Off-Season Talk Show
1390

This is our off season talk show, American Hysteria: Just Another Panic Monday. Our regular season will return this winter.   For the next several weeks, my co-host Miranda Zickler and I will explore a handful of our favorite American freak-outs in a more casual way, while still giving you the same stories you love. This week’s topic: subliminal messages in Disney movies, from the dicks in the Little Mermaid to Aladdin’s apparent command for teenagers to take off their clothes, we’ll see if there’s any truth to these urban legends while we look at the history of subliminal messages, as well as what the conspiracy theorists say. Spoiler alert: It’s the Illuminati and Satanic cults, as always.  

Just Another Panic Monday  is co-hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith and Miranda Zickler
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios  
Opening theme song cover by Miranda Zickler with help from CWS

Nov 04, 2019
Mind Control
3176

For our season finale, I am going to step into the unknown recesses of the mind, especially my own. I’ll share my upsetting brush with a self-actualization program that taught me that life is empty and meaning when I was ten-years-old. I’ll give a partial history of psychology’s changing ideas about how we think about thinking. Then we’ll look at the Cold War beginnings of this concept called brainwashing when American POWs suddenly became communist sympathizers, and how the US government tried their hand at the same thing. After that, we’ll check out the human potential movement and the new age philosophies that helped influence the Manson Family’s murders. Moving into the 1970s, we’ll follow a kidnapped heiress turned domestic terrorist, and see how the mass deaths at Jonestown influenced her fate. We’ll meet the man who invented cult deprogramming, paid for by families to abduct their wayward loved ones back. At the close, I’ll share more about my modern-era spiritual journey and how it’s informed my own mental health. Does life have meaning? Who knows, and who cares. Come hang out for more more special episode, and let’s get weird, man.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Oct 21, 2019
Terrorism: Part Two
2032

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.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Oct 14, 2019
Terrorism: Part One
2284

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 government intervention that caused more death than it stopped. It becomes obvious that the far right and far left have always battled in the streets, just as we see today.    For part two, we will explore how we got to the modern versions of domestic terrorism, what we have come to know as the Alt-Right and Antifa. Coming next Monday, October 14th.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Oct 07, 2019
Wardrobe Malfunction
803

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.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Sep 30, 2019
Pornography
2017

Pornography 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
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Sep 23, 2019
Violent Video Games
786

AFTER SHOCK: 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?

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Sep 16, 2019
Dangerous Teens
2179

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, though devastating, event of the school mass shooting, the angry young white men we have come to view as the most common perpetrators are not the ones stopped by the rising presence of school police. Today I ask the question: When we panic about school shootings on both the left and the right, who are the invisible victims of our collective outrage?  

*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.*

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Sep 09, 2019
Furby
749

AFTER SHOCK: 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.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Co-written by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Sep 02, 2019
Toy Riots
2031

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. 

Thanks to my Grannie Sheila Haagenson!

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Co-Produced by Miranda Zickler
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Aug 26, 2019
LIVE VARIETY HOUR
2401

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
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 

Aug 19, 2019
Two Flexible Skeptics Contemplate the Unknowable Universe: American Hysteria in Conversation with the Something Scary Podcast
2318

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.

Thanks to Sapphire Sandalo, make sure you follow her and her projects on Instagram @awkwardsapphire 

Aug 12, 2019
The Mad Gasser of Mattoon
783

AFTER SHOCK: 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? 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing assisted by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Aug 05, 2019
Monsters
1994

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. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jul 29, 2019
Ted Bundy
657

AFTER SHOCK: 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?

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing assisted by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jul 22, 2019
Celebrity
2062

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.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jul 15, 2019
Parrot Fever
626

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. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jul 08, 2019
Quackery
2212

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 grounded in science, researchers are actually finding that alternative medicine does work to help relieve us of our pain, just not in the ways you might think.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowriting assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jul 01, 2019
Cooties
670

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. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research and cowritten by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jun 24, 2019
Germs
1950

In a real sense, germs are our only modern predator and they are invisible and impossible to detect; what could be scarier? America has adjusted to the threat of germs by not only working toward cures and vaccinations, but by making uncleanliness in general a cultural symbol meant to separate social others from the affluent. Anxieties about race and immigration, about gender and sexuality and class, played out in the way products were marketed, as well as in how public policy and public opinion were formed, leading to several needless quarantines and travel bans throughout history. American’s obsession with cleanliness has become a kind of religious ritual, and scientists and psychologists now believe that the fear of germs may influence all our political and moral opinions without us evening knowing it.  

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jun 17, 2019
Griefbots
844

American Hysteria presents the AFTER SHOCK, a follow-up minisode to the main episode before it, basically The Shit They Didn't Show or From The Cutting Room Floor. We'll cover one interesting story every other week. This episode is about 'griefbots,' a new form of AI that app developers are creating. By scouring social media posts and text messages of deceased persons, they work to design chat bots that loved ones and future generations can actually interact with. One developer is even offering a way to contribute to a future digital version of yourself, that could live on long after you die. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith

Become a Patron for extra episodes, interviews, and videos monthly!
Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jun 10, 2019
Talking to the Dead
1805

For the season two premiere, we are exploring the rich American history of Spiritualism, a massive 80-year trend of popular culture lasting from the Civil War to the Jazz age in which mediums began speaking to, and then speaking for, the spirits of the dead. A sudden craze of magical, fun, gross, and sexy parlor room séances swept the nation, materializing during the awe-inspiring age of invention and scientific inquiry. But the movement also had a political side; for the first time women were given a voice for social and political change, a voice that just happened to be channeled from beyond the veil. How they used that otherworldly voice, however, was both revolutionary and problematic, much like the progressive movements we experience today. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Jun 03, 2019
Presenting American Hysteria: Season Two
98
Join us next week, Monday, June 3rd, for the premiere of season two where we cover the creepy, sexy, gross, and surprisingly political American movement of Talking to the Dead. Find out what more you can expect from our coming season, from terrorism to dangerous teens, from medical quackery to the dangers of the crossword puzzle. In the meantime, if you love the show, please leave us a five star review, it really helps the show out.
May 27, 2019
Viral: Believing in the Blair Witch
954

This is the 20 year anniversary of one of my favorite movies of all time, The Blair Witch Project, a movie that masqueraded as real found footage of three college students who went missing in the woods while recording a documentary on the local legend. The story of the missing students and the lore of the Blair Witch were both widely believed during its monumental release, and we are covering just how the directors and marketing team were able to pull off one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, creating an original urban legend and facilitating its spread while also using a truly unorthodox method of filming, essentially becoming the Blair Witch, that encouraged true fear out of the actors. These mini episodes will cover the strangest viral phenomena of the world wide web, coming every two weeks during our off-season.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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May 06, 2019
Viral: The Mandela Effect
769

Our culture, our society, our very sense of self, relies heavily on a faith in our memories as perfectly accurate. But what if our memories aren’t as reliable as we think? What if we can recall vividly, things that never actually happened? And what if that can extend out to an entire culture, a whole group collectively remembering something wrong? The Mandela Effect, however, says that parallel dimensions are to blame for discrepancies of mass childhood memories, such as the spelling of Berenstain Bears and the Sinbad's 90s genie movie Shazam.  These mini episodes will cover the strangest viral phenomena of the world wide web, coming every two weeks during our off-season.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith

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Apr 22, 2019
Viral: The Momo Suicide Challenge
790

The newest viral internet urban legend focuses on an entity named Momo, a creepy humanoid figure with giant eyes, a strange too-wide smile, and grotesque chicken legs, said to message teens and kids on messaging apps with escalating dangerous challenges ending in self-harm and suicide. On this mini episode, we'll explore this and other panics that look for something to blame for the issue of adolescent mental health. These mini episodes will cover the strangest viral phenomena of the world wide web, coming every two weeks during our off-season.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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Apr 08, 2019
The End of the World
2428

It has been said that the apocalypse is as American as apple pie, and for our season finale we are exploring different versions of the end of the world, the hyper-religious, the new age, and the scientific, as well as Chelsey’s personal experience with the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. The stories we tell about the end of time tend to involve not only a series of cataclysmic, devastating events, but also the saving of an elect few, and the punishing and death of the rest. While none of the end times predictions have come to pass, major leaps in technology have opened us up to both the potential nuclear war and the potential for climate disaster, terrifying realities that prove more difficult to face than our fantasies. What comes next is up to us. 

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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Mar 25, 2019
The Calm Down: The Morality of Drugs and the Opioid Crisis
1582

This week we will be discussing the history of drug panic in the United States and its effects in the present day. My guest is Sarah Deutsch, a friend of mine from high school who received her masters in Public health from the City University of New York. Sarah went on to become the Director of Outreach and Prevention for a syringe exchange in Washington Heights, where she worked for many years. Currently, Sarah is working in Washington State to scale up programs that serve people who use drugs. For this episode, Sarah will share her expertise as we discuss the morality of drugs, and the differences and similarities in cultural perceptions in the current opioid crisis. \

My guest this week is Sarah Deutsch
This episode was produced by Clear Commo Studios

Join me next week for our season finale on The End of the World

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Mar 18, 2019
Drugs
1954

When a security camera caught footage of a 31-year-old Florida resident eating the face of a homeless man, the news and social media dubbed him the Miami Zombie, and it was widely speculated that he was under the influence of a new synthetic drug called Bath Salts, a claim that was later found to be false. Hysterical drug rhetoric has long talked of zombies and monsters and aggressors with superhuman strength and an imperviousness to police bullets, and panic around drug use has long been manufactured by politicians with specific groups in mind, to dehumanize those who appear to cause a threat to the established social order, marking them inhuman groups in need of social control and even long-term imprisonment. Many of us were drafted into the War on Drugs as kids and teens through faulty programs implemented by D.A.R.E. police officers, and taught to mimic this unreasonable rhetoric that has caused irreparable harm to many American communities and continues to do so to this day.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Research assisted by Riley Smith
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers
Thanks to Sarah Deutsch for advising

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Mar 11, 2019
The Calm Down: Murdered on Lovers' Lane
1400

For this week's episode of the Calm Down, my guests are the women of Feminist Folklore, our partner podcast at Skylark media. Each week Carela Holl-Jensen and Rachael Marr consider what fairytales, folk stories, and urban legends can tell us about culture at large, about beliefs surrounding gender and sexuality and the prescribed roles of women. Today we’ll be discussing different interpretations of the Hook man urban legend as well as the true crime stories of Lover’s Lane, while we dissect the phenomenon of the teenage urban legend and what it has to do with American traditions.

This week's were Carela Holl Jensen and Rachel Marr of Feminist Folklore
Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
This episode was produced by Clear Commo Studios

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Next episode we will talk about American Drug panics.

Feb 25, 2019
Teenage Sex
1968

In 1996, Scream taught American teenagers the first rule to surviving a horror movie. Never, ever have sex. Classic slasher movies have their roots in an urban legend we all heard growing up: a guy and a girl are parked on a deserted lover’s lane making out while a hook-handed killer is on the loose. The 2000s gave us urban legends about dangerous teen sex games, Rainbow parties and sex bracelets, as well as bans on high school dances over grinding and twerking, and with the recent outrage over teen sexting, it seems that kids these days are out of control. But since the invention of the American teenager, rumor and outrage has swirled around this reckless developmental stage. Through looking at the start of teenage culture in the 1920s, when risqué dance trends and controversial make-out parties scandalized the nation, we’ll find the roots of these modern moral panics, and see how our battles around sex education have left them in an uneducated limbo, creating suburban legends to make sense of their parents’ utter horror at their private lives.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Feb 18, 2019
The Calm Down: Talking to My Christian Friends About Gay Stuff
1568

For the Calm Down this week my guests are my two Christian friends who wish to remain anonymous, as they are sharing some anti-establishment opinions. Brianna is a poet who got her masters with me at the University of Virginia, and her husband Patrick has a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies and teaches the bible at a private high school. Brianna and Patrick are dedicated to questioning and exploring their faith in big ways, and today we’ll talk about their changes of heart as young Christians, what the the Bible says about homosexuality in its historical context, and how the philosophy of queerness just might help save the Christian faith. 

This is American Hysteria’s The Calm Down Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
This week’s guests were Brianna and Patrick
This episode was produced by Clear Common Studios

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Join us next week for the panics surrounding Teenage Sex.

Feb 11, 2019
The Gay Agenda
1948

The purse-carrying, tutu-wearing purple Teletubby Tinky Winky was outed as a homosexual in 1999, capping off a decade of conspiratorial anti-gay writings and videos that influenced politics straight up to supreme court. Accused of using kids shows and public schools to influence impressionable minds and recruit new young homosexuals, the gay militants were secretly powerful agents of a massive conspiracy to bring down traditional American values and take over the country. The creation of the Gay Agenda theory borrowed from a long history of devastating misinformation and a concerted effort to rid America of this apparent moral disease without mercy, a process that began as the first puritans encountered tribal communities with ways shockingly different than their own, and began their own anti-gay crusade that has lasted centuries.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Feb 04, 2019
The Calm Down: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Clown
1504

On the Calm Down this week we are talking Phantom clowns, horror movies, and the uncanny valley. My guest is John Campopiano, an independent filmmaker, writer, and film collector who works for PBS’ Frontline His debut documentary explored Stephen King's Pet Sematary, and his latest project, now in post production, is an all encompassing look at the 1990 miniseries IT starring Tim Curry. John has also co-written a new short film inspired by IT called 'Georgie,' which is due out in the spring, both of which I AM SO EXCITED FOR. We’ve already covered the panic, now here’s the calm down.

Follow John's Pennywise doc
American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Join me next week for our next episode on The Gay Agenda

Jan 27, 2019
Phantom Clowns
2032

For most of us living in the US, clowns have become much more associated with horror than the laughter of kids. The “killer clown” epidemic went viral in 2016, with reports across the nation of evil clowns trying to lure children into the woods, attacking adults, and threating harm to local schools, but as you might guess, they were all hoaxes or hysteria. However, it wasn’t the first time that America was invaded by Phantom Clowns. For this episode, I will trace the history of our relationship to the clown as a cultural archetype, explore a strange theory of creepiness known as the uncanny valley, and try to understand why these particular creatures emerge from the woods when they do.


American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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Jan 21, 2019
The Calm Down: Kids in Cauldrons and Satanic Ritual Abuse
1555

For this week’s Calm Down we are talking about part two of Satanic Panic that focused on Satanic ritual abuse. My guest is American Hysteria’s editor and producer Rod Rodriguez of Clear Commo Studios. A US Army Reserve Intelligence Officer, Rod earned his masters in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University in 2015\. He surprised the hell out of me the other day by revealing his experience both growing up embroiled in his own hometown Satanic scare and as a grad student studying traumatized children, learning hard lessons from the the Satanic ritual abuse investigations, experiences he is going to share today. We are both so happy this episode is behind us, join us as we try to process it all together.

Hosted Chelsey Weber-Smith 
Our guest this week was Rod Rodriguez and this episode was produced by Clear Commo Studios

Join me next week for our next episode on Phantom Clowns!

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jan 14, 2019
Satanic Panic: Part Two
2033

*Please be aware that this episode talks about child sexual abuse* We recommend listening to part one of Satanic Panic first. In 1980s America, when 60% of people believed that devil worship was a serious problem, two new characters, Stranger Danger’s murderous pedophile and the Satanist, blurred into a new villain and psychological archetype: The Satanic pedophile. In part one, we saw how Satanic hysteria was sown through pop culture, sensational media, and religious hucksters, causing the widespread fear of Satan’s influence over children and their behavior. We touched on the cultural anxieties that were raging during this time, with women beginning careers and leaving kids in daycare for the first time in history, and the Moral Majority pushing fundamentalism into the political sphere. For part two, Chelsey covers ‘satanic ritual abuse’, the belief that Satanic cults were using daycare centers as fronts to physically, sexually, and emotionally abuse children in horrifying religious rituals allegedly described by the children themselves. This moral panic has been called the Salem Witch Hunt of our modern era, including the longest and most expensive trial in US history, with some of the accused wrongly imprisoned for twenty years. Chelsey will try to understand this shocking moment in our recent history, how something like this could have happened, and the cultural issues it was really about.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Follow American Hysteria on social media:
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast

Jan 07, 2019
The Calm Down: He's Baaaack! Satanic Panic Themes in Riverdale and Sabrina
1401

Welcome to The Calm Down, this week Chelsey is talking Satanic Panic with two friends and coworkers, siblings Will Rogers and Kristen Rogers Anderson. Will is the writer behind Skylark media’s audio drama Blackwood, an amazing series following three high school students who investigate a local urban legend. Kristen is American Hysteria’s social media manager, as well as a cohost with Will on the hilarious horror podcast Guide to the Unknown. The three of them discuss Satan’s reign of the 1980s, as well as his current return to pop culture with the success of both Riverdale and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. We’ve covered the panic, now here’s the Calm Down. This episode is sponsored by Hunt A Killer, the monthly murder mystery subscription box service, head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](http://www.huntakiller.com/hysteria) for 10% off your first box.

This week's guests were Will Roger and Kristen Rogers Anderson
Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced by Clear Commo Studios

Join us after the holidays for the return of American Hysteria, Part two of Satanic Panic, coming January 7th

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***Correction from this episode, it was the Satanic Temple that sued Warner Brothers for copyright infringement of the Baphomet statue, not the Church of Satan***

Dec 17, 2018
Satanic Panic: Part One
2008

This episode is part one of our two-part series on perhaps the most mystifying moral panic in US history, the 1980s and early 90s 'Satanic Panic.' For this episode, Chelsey covers the rise of organized Satanism beginning in the late 60s, as well as the adversarial countercultures of the hippies and the metalheads, and their apparent Satanic crimes that would be hailed as proof of their evil, as well as proof that teens, as well as children, were in serious moral peril. Satan was allegedly hypnotizing the youth with secret messages in backwards rock songs, teaching them occult magic in Saturday morning cartoons, and causing suicides through a popular role-playing game, all while helping religion blur into politics for good. For part two Chelsey will cover what came next, a serious investigation into an imagined network of Satanic cults ritually abusing children in daycare centers all over the country. Chelsey will try to understand this shocking decade in history, why it happened, and the cultural issues it was really about. Part two is coming after the holidays.

American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
Show art by Roache
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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Dec 10, 2018
The Calm Down: Hidden Anti-Semitism in Conspiracy Thought and Getting to Know Satan
1304

The Calm Down is a mini episode of American Hysteria coming every other week. Today we’re following up on last week’s show about the illuminati, please listen to that episode first. My guest is Mark Gunnery, a queer Jewish journalist who produces the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, Washington DC's NPR station. He is currently working on a podcast series about Sabbatai Tzvi, a 17th century false messiah who changed the course of Jewish history. We’ll talk about the Jewish Illuminati conspiracy theories and where they come from, and then scratch surface of the coming episodes on the Satanic Panic of the 1980s.

This week's guest was Mark Gunnery, visit his website here
Hosted Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced by Clear Commo Studios

Join us next week for a new episode of American Hysteria, Part one of Satanic Panic.

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Dec 03, 2018
The Illuminati
2043

For this episode, we'll explore the mother-of-all conspiracy theories, the Illuminati, an alleged secret society and their evil world domination plan known as the New World Order. Chelsey takes a stroll down memory lane with friend Austin Smith, to a time when they believed in the Illuminati and found what seemed like proof. We’ll explore the history of the theory itself, why some people are more prone to believing than others, and how at the heart of the theory lies a dark ideology that has affected our culture into the present.

Check out A Culture of Conspiracy by Michael Barkun for further reading

American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith

Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios

Show art by Roache 

Voice acting by Will Rogers
Thanks to my guest, Austin Smith, check out his new book of poems

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Nov 26, 2018
The Calm Down: Needles & Strangers & the Illuminati, Oh My!
1421

Every other week host Chelsey Weber-Smith will sit down with a guest to breakdown the previous episode, reveal all the stuff that was left out, as well as chat about the next week’s topic. This week, Chelsey and long time friend Jake Weholt, who you will remember from the Stranger Danger episode and their own hometown panic, discuss Stranger Danger, Poisoned Halloween Candy, the Illuminati, and the importance of critical thinking.

TCD’s guest this week is Jake Weholt
Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced by Clear Commo Studios

Join us next week for our episode on the Illuminati!

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Nov 19, 2018
Poisoned Halloween Candy
1916

This episode takes a look at our history with candy, the desire and the panic, and explains why sweets have always been a source of fear for parents. Starting with the strange 1800s religious beliefs of Dr. Harvey Kellogg, about candy leading to sexual deviancy, we'll move through the goofy urban legends of the 1970s, to the 80s and 90s when people allegedly began finding dangerous objects in their foods, like syringes in Pepsi cans and poison in Halloween candy.

American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Rod Rodriguez
Show art by Roache
Voice acting by Lily Orrey and Will Rogers

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Nov 12, 2018
Stranger Danger
1879

This episode explores the evolution of American's bogeyman, the Stranger, and reveals how rare these types of kidnappings really are. Through looking at the sensational child snatching crimes that have shaped our culture from the 1800s to the 1980s, and how we have responded to them in the media, in books, with PSAs and made-for-TV movies, host Chelsey Weber-Smith explains the problem with Stranger Danger and what this moral panic might be covering up.

American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Produced and edited by Rod Rodriguez
Show art by Roache (xroache.com](xroache.com)
Thanks for Jake Weholt for the interview
Thanks to Corinne Manning for advising
Check out Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America by Paula Fass for further reading 

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Twitter: @AmerHysteria
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Nov 12, 2018
Introducing American Hysteria
60

American Hysteria is a brand new podcast exploring our moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Host Chelsey Weber-Smith will attempt to understand why we fear the wrong things, explore how these fears shape our past, present, and future in sometimes hilarious and sometimes devastating ways, and also what these bizarre panics might be covering up. Topics range from Stranger Danger to Poisoned Halloween Candy to Satanic Panic to the Illuminati. Subscribe now where ever you get your podcasts. The first two episodes drop November 12th.

Nov 05, 2018