American Hysteria

By Skylark Media

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JR
 Jan 5, 2019
Excellent show! keep them coming please!

Rui Santos
 Nov 28, 2018
The best show if you want to understand the roots of the most famous conspiracy theories.

Description

American Hysteria is a 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 explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes distressing stories of modern and historical American freak-outs, why we fear the wrong things, and what these bizarre panics might be covering up. Subscribe now on Apple, Google, Spotify, or where ever you get your podcasts.

Episode Date
8: Teenage Sex
2146
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. This episode is sponsored by Daily Harvest, the superfood subscription service. Head to [daily-harvest.com](http://www.daily-harvest.com) and use our promo code American to get three cups free in your first box. American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by [Clear Commo Studios](https://www.clearcommo.com/) Voice acting by Will Rogers and Lily Orrey Show art by [Roache](http://www.xroache.com) Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: 
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
 Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
 Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Feb 18, 2019
7: AH The Calm Down: Talking to My Christian Friends About Gay Stuff
1658
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 This episode is sponsored by A Discovery of Witches, exclusively on Shudder and Sundance Now, head to [discoveryofwitchestv.com](http://www.discoveryofwitchestv.com) and use promo code AH for a 30-day free trial for either streaming service.  Join us next week for the panics surrounding Teenage Sex.
Feb 11, 2019
7: The Gay Agenda
2259
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. This episode is sponsored by Care/Of. Get 50% off your first month by heading to [TakeCareOf.com](http://www.takecareof.com) and entering promo code AH50 From Skylark Media American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by [Clear Commo Studios](https://www.clearcommo.com/) Show art by [Roache](http://www.xroache.com) Voice acting by Will Rogers and Lily Orrey Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Feb 04, 2019
6: Introducing Feminist Folklore
187
Introducing another great podcast from Skylark Media! Feminist Folklore is a weekly storytelling and discussion podcast where each week, hosts Carlea and Rachael share a fairy tale, myth, or legend from around the world, and discuss it from a feminist perspective. Does Snow White pass the Bechdel test? How different would Sleeping Beauty really be if you replaced the heroine with a sexy lamp? Whether you love Disney princesses or chilling ghost stories, Feminist Folklore has something for you. From old English ballads to contemporary Japanese legends, nothing’s off limits in these frank, funny discussions. The stories Carlea and Rachael cover can be problematic, but there’s never a dull moment. Feminist Folklore explores tough and timely topics like gender equality, toxic masculinity, and body positivity, and considers how societal attitudes about sex and gender are influenced by our deep-seated cultural narratives. You’ll be surprised by how little has changed for women since the days of the Brothers Grimm, and how much ancient myths and legends can still tell us about women’s lives. Subscribe [here](https://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/feministfolklore), or wherever you get your podcasts.
Jan 29, 2019
6: AH The Calm Down: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Clown
1594
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. 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% your first box.  Follow John's Pennywise doc [here](https://www.facebook.com/pennywisedoc/) From Skylark My guests this week was John Campopiano I’m your host Chelsey Weber-Smith and this episode was produced by Clear Commo Studios Join me next week for our next episode on The Gay Agenda
Jan 27, 2019
6: Phantom Clowns
2232
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.
 This episode is sponsored by Audible. Try it for free for 30 days at [audible.com/AH](https://www.audible.com/ep/podcast?source_code=PBPGB021010919012H) or text AH to 500500 American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by [Clear Commo Studios](https://www.clearcommo.com/) Show Art by [Roache](http://www.xroache.com) Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria)

 Follow American Hysteria on social media:
 Twitter: @AmerHysteria
 Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
 Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Jan 21, 2019
5: AH The Calm Down: Kids in Cauldrons and Satanic Ritual Abuse
1645
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. This episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. Get $80 off your first month by going to [HelloFresh.com/AH80](http://www.HelloFresh.com/AH80) and entering our promo code AH80. From Skylark Hosted Chelsey Weber-Smith  Our guest this week was Rod Rodriguez and this episode was produced by [Clear Commo Studios](https://www.clearcommo.com/) Join me next week for our next episode on Phantom Clowns [Subscribe here](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) and leave us a review! Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Jan 14, 2019
5: Satanic Panic: Part Two
2195
_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 sponsored by Hunt A Killer. For 10% off your first box, head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](http://www.huntakiller.com/hysteria) For further reading, check out '[We Believe the Children](https://shop.nplusonemag.com/products/we-believe-the-children-preorder)' by Richard Beck. From Skylark American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by [Clear Commo Studios](https://clearcommo.com/) Show art by [Roache](https://www.xroache.com/) Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media:
 Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast 
 Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Jan 07, 2019
5: AH The Calm Down: He's Baaaack! Satanic Panic Themes in Riverdale and Sabrina
1491
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. Check out Will’s podcast Blackwood [here](https://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/blackwood) Check out Will and Kristen’s podcast Guide to the Unknown [here](http://www.talkbomb.com/gttupod/) From Skylark this was American Hysteria’s The Calm Down 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 [Subscribe here](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: [@AmerHysteria](https://twitter.com/AmerHysteria) Instagram: [@AmericanHysteriaPodcast](https://www.instagram.com/americanhysteriapodcast/) Facebook: [@AmericanHysteriaPodcast](https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHysteriaPodcast/) ***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
4: Satanic Panic: Part One
2195
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. Check out [Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s](http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/store/product/satanic-panic-pop-cultural-paranoia-in-the-1980s/) by editors Kier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe for further reading. This episode is sponsored by Care/Of. For 25% off your first month of personalized vitamins and supplements, head to [takecareof.com](https://www.takecareof.com) and use promo code AH From Skylark American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios Show art by [Roache](https://www.xroache.com/) Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media:
 Twitter: @AmerHysteria
 Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast 
Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Dec 10, 2018
3: AH The Calm Down: Hidden Anti-Semitism in Conspiracy Thought and Getting to Know Satan
1394
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. TCD 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. From [Skylark](http://www.skylarkmedia.com) This week's guest was Mark Gunnery, visit his website [here](https://www.markgunnery.com/) 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. [Subscribe now](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Dec 03, 2018
3: The Illuminati
2159
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 sponsored by Hunt A Killer. For 10% off your first box, head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](http://www.huntakiller.com/hysteria) From Skylark
 American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith
 Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios
 Show art by Roache ([xroache.com](xroache.com))
 Voice acting by Will Rogers Thanks to my guest, Austin Smith, check out his new book of poems [here](https://press.princeton.edu/titles/13241.html) Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](http://www.skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast 

Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Nov 26, 2018
2: AH The Calm Down: Needles & Strangers & the Illuminati, Oh My!
1511
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! American Hysteria is sponsored by Hunt A Killer, the monthly murder mystery subscription box service. Head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](huntakiller.com/hysteria) for 10% off your first box.
Nov 19, 2018
2: Poisoned Halloween Candy
2027
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. Check out _Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure_ by Samira Kawash for further reading. American Hysteria is sponsored by Hunt A Killer. For 10% off your first box, head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](huntakiller.com/hysteria) From Skylark American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Rod Rodriguez Show art by Roache ([xroache.com](xroache.com)) Voice acting by Lily Orrey and Will Rogers Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](skylarkmedia.com//podcasts/americanhysteria) 

Follow American Hysteria on social media:
 Twitter: @AmerHysteria 
 Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
 Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Nov 12, 2018
1: Stranger Danger
1995
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 sponsored by Hunt A Killer. For 10% off your first box, head to [huntakiller.com/hysteria](huntakiller.com/hysteria) From Skylark American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick 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](https://www.amazon.com/Kidnapped-Abduction-Paula-S-Fass/dp/0195117093) by Paula Fass for further reading Subscribe now at [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria) Follow American Hysteria on social media: Twitter: @AmerHysteria Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Nov 12, 2018
1: Introducing American Hysteria
150
Skylark Media presents American Hysteria, 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 or head to [skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria](skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria). The first two episodes drop November 12th.
Nov 05, 2018