MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.
In part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage, we look at the influence of Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver on Science Fiction, UFOlogy, and the cultural fringe. (Part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage featuring Drs. Jerry Drake and Jeb Card). Read the episode notes
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we get a brief overview of the history of Hollow Earth theories and start our deep dive into the topic of The Shaver Mystery with repeat guests Dr. Jerry Drake and Dr. Jeb Card. Weird-Science, lost civilizations, UFOs, and Nazis — this story has more threads than a fancy bedsheet set! Read the episode notes
MonsterTalk revisits the story of Zana, the alleged Almasti wild woman of Abkhazia who was the subject of Bryan Sykes DNA research in his book The Nature of the Beast. A legendary forest spirit of the Balkans may have some relevance to the story of Zana and her descendants. Read the epsiode notes
Where do Dragons come from — and why do so many cultures have them? Learn about the origins of Dragon legends with Eric Mortensen of Guilford College. Our conversation also touches on Fairies and Yeti — and we will doubtless be revisiting both Eric and the topic of Dragons in future episodes. Read the episode notes
Larry Blamire, the talented writer, artist and director of the indy homage to 50’s cinema, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra joins us to talk monsters. Hurry up and support Larry’s Kickstarter for the 10-year anniversary BluRay of The Lost Skeleton Returns Again. Read the episode notes
H.P. Lovecraft Literary Crossover! I’m joined by Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer of the incredible H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast to talk monsters of the mythos. It’s a wide-ranging wild and wacky ride. Hang on to your earbuds! If you’re not already a subscriber to their fine product, I urge you to waste no time in fixing that! Warning: Listener discretion is advised.
An illuminating discussion about the Russian Monk, Rasputin, by author Douglas Smith. We’ll be discussing the myths and facts about Rasputin as described in Smith’s book, Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs. Read the episode notes
In MonsterTalk episode # 187, we talk about the role of the supernatural and occult in Nazi Germany. Our guest is author Dr. Eric Kurlander, author of the book Hitler’s Monsters, which chronicles the rise of the Nazis and their strange relationship with the occult including fringe theories, Border Science, astrology, homeopathy, and even Nostradamus. Read the episode notes
In MonsterTalk episode # 186 we talk with Dr. David D. Perlmutter, dean of the College of Media & Communications at Texas Tech University in Lubbock about the ways that humans can become monsters, and the ways that humans turn other humans into monsters. We discuss war crimes both recent and ancient, serial killers, and more. We reference his book, Visions of War. This free Patreon-edit of the show is brought to you by TTU’s new STEM Leadership Communication online program. Read the episode notes
A new UFO/Area-51 documentary by Jeremy Corbell (see Hunt for the Skinwalker mentioned in MonsterTalk Patreon Bonus Episode 001) has been very successful. Blake and Karen discuss the documentary and the legend of Bob Lazar. Some of Lazar’s personal history deals with adult topics, so I’m putting an explicit tag on this episode. Read the episode notes
In this episode of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake are joined by Mathew Baxter (paranormal investigator, lecturer, magician and Karen’s husband) to talk about ghost hunting gear used by amateur investigators. Read the episode notes
What is a disease? We’re joined by science writer Mike McRae, author of Unwell: What Makes a Disease a Disease? to discuss the history of the whole concept of diseases which turn out to have a large, often hidden, social component. For US audiences, be advised that Mike’s book is not available directly in the US. You’ll need to order it through an International bookseller like Booktopia (link above). Read the epsiode notes
This is Patreon Bonus content edited slightly for the regular MonsterTalk feed. (Expect more of this content thanks to the generous support of our Patrons.) This episode is a deep dive into the Skinwalker Ranch mystery and a discussion of the new documentary, Hunt for the Skinwalker. Dr. Jeb Card (Spooky Archaeology) joins me for the discussion.
In episode 182 of MonsterTalk, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Thor Hansen to listeners. For several years he’s been teaching a course at Western Washington University that uses monsters to teach science. I think you’re going to enjoy what he’s been up to — and I know some of you may want to reach out to him about similar projects or check out his course online. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows.
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we’re joined by historian Joseph Gagne to discuss the many legends and interesting facts about one of Quebec’s most legendary historical figures. Witch? Murderer? Whatever she was in life, her story has seeded hundreds of legends and fictions. Read the episode notes
Peter Bebergal studied religion and culture at Harvard Divinity School, and is the author of the new book Strange Frequencies, which chronicles many of the ways people have sought to use technology to transcend the mundane to reach the numinous. We talk about the ways people have used (and continue to use) technology in fringe research, art, entertainment, and in pursuit of revelation. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we are joined by Christopher Klimovitz in a wide-ranging discussion of the history and monstrous folklore of the Balkans. From ghosts and vampires to fairies and Baba Yaga, this region has been fractured by war but bound together with stories. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
In this episode, we go down to the billabong to look for a monster indigenous to Australian folklore and myth — but perhaps with a foot (-er flipper?) in the real world: The Bunyip. We are joined by cultural history professional Paul-Michael Donovan for a fascinating look at the legend (and a possible non-monstrous explanation) for this famous chimeric creek critter. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
Asher Elbein and Tiffany Turrill join us to talk about monsters and folklore of Appalachia. Their new project about fictional witch Anna O’Brien draws heavily from authentic folklore of this storied region of the United States. Read the episode notes
Bigfoot nests, the Patterson-Gimlin film, DNA testing — it’s all new to journalist and former NPR producer Laura Krantz. She’s digging into the world of Bigfoot in the popular new podcast Wild Thing, and she joins MonsterTalk to discuss what it’s like to walk into the strange world of cryptozoology as an outsider. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
Our third annual cross-over event with the Archy Fantasies Podcast features our combined efforts to find movies which highlight a theme familiar to listeners - and in keeping with our respective shows’ motifs. You’ll find ghosts, mummies, curses and plagues a plenty. We hope you enjoy it. Read the episode notes
Five years ago, three teenagers set out to investigate the local legend of their small town, The Blackwood Bugman, and the mysterious disappearances and murders connected to him over the years. But as they soon come to find out, getting too close to the truth can be very dangerous. From the masterminds behind Hunt A Killer comes a chilling tale of secrets, monsters, and murder. Subscribe to Blackwood today at wondery.fm/monster.
Dr. Chris Harding is a lecturer on Asian History at the University of Edinburgh. He has focused on Indian and Japanese history in his academic work, and recently wrote an article about Japanese ghost stories and their context in time. He joins MonsterTalk to discuss Yurei — the ghosts of Japan. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
Since 2015, Seth Breedlove has been producing documentaries about cryptozoology and the impact that a cluster of monster sightings can have on a small town. His latest film is The Bray Road Beast, and Seth joins us to discuss the peculiar aspects of the creature that some have called a werewolf, a dog-man or even a demonic entity. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
This weekend (Oct 6 & 7, 2018) Darren Naish is hosting TetZoo Con #5. It’s also been 25 years since the release of Jurassic Park. To celebrate, and promote Darren’s convention, I thought it would be fun to talk dinosaurs with a paleontologist. It was. An extended (and somewhat NSFW) version of this interview is available to Patreon supporters of any level. Read the episode notes
An interview with archaeologist Ken Feder (see numerous other episodes including Giants and Atlantis) about the Tule River reservation Mayak Datat (“Hairy Man”) pictographs which have been called evidence for Bigfoot. Hopefully, this will be part 1 of at least a 2 part look. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
Blake and Karen interview Jeffrey Reddick, a Hollywood screenwriter, producer, and director (perhaps best known for penning Final Destination) about his recent horror film Dead Awake which combines fictional elements with the real-world phenomena of sleep paralysis. Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows. Read the episode notes
Karen and Blake interview David Shango from the Seneca Nation Museum (in Salamanca, NY) about the legends and monsters of the Seneca people. This is the first part of some dedicated focus on Native American lore which we plan to cover over the next few months. Read the episode notes
Blake Smith and Jeb Card (Spooky Archaeology) discuss CryptidCon 2018 and Blake’s continuing research into the Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblins Case. (See MonsterTalk’s 3 part previous coverage: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) Additional notes later this week. Please check back. Read the episode notes
When did full moons become required in werewolf lore? Could the beast of Gevaudan have been a Hyena? Why does silver have such power in folklore? Can silver coins preserve milk? In episode 167 of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake discuss further discoveries about werewolf lore. Read the episode notes
Glamis Castle has secrets—and one of them is monstrous. Mike Dash (Spring Heeled Jack) joins us to talk about his research into the dark folklore around this ancient, beautiful household. Read the episode notes
Blake and Karen are joined again by Hayley Stevens (The Spooktator Podcast) to talk about haunted jails and prisons. Hayley previously appeared on MonsterTalk in episode # 36 to discuss lake monster mysteries. Read the episode notes.
Karen and Blake discuss the early history of Men in Black lore going back to some primary sources. Stories of mysterious strangers questioning and intimidating (and confounding) UFO investigators have a strange, continuously evolving history. Read the episode notes
MonsterTalk host Blake Smith looks back at the career and impact of radio-host Art Bell who passed away on April 13, 2018 at the age of 72. Bell’s influential radio show Coast to Coast AM (still being produced today with George Noory at the microphone) was the launching pad for thousands of stories of the bizarre, the mysterious and the conspiratorial. Was he simply an entertainer? Was he harmful to the American radio listener? Some thoughts on the cultural impact of this titan of the night. Read the episode notes
On a hot Summer day it’s nice to cool off and contemplate the hairy, horned winter monster of the Alps known as The Krampus. In MonsterTalk # 162, Blake interviews Al Ridenour, author of The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas. Al is also the host of the folklore and pop-culture podcast Bone & Sickle. Read the episode notes
Archaeologist and author Jeb Card joins Blake Smith to discuss his new book Spooky Archaeology. The book is about many weird, spooky topics which are tied to the field of archaeology—but this episode spends a lot of time talking about the unusual connection between H. P. Lovecraft and the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb. Warning: Some of the language in this episode may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion is advised. Read the episode notes
Does a giant prehistoric shark lurk deep in the waters of the ocean, surviving against all odds to surprise us by occasionally biting a giant whale in half? No. But these animals did once exist and we don’t need to pretend they’re still alive to be blown away by their stunning biological features. We talk with Dr. Craig McClain about the amazing animal we call Megalodon. Read the episode notes
We interview Professor Neil Gemmell (@ProfGemmell) who is currently conducting eDNA research into various lake monsters of Scotland, especially Nessie and Morag. His lab at the University of Otago in New Zealand is hoping to find a lot of new information about the life within these cold, deep lakes using cutting edge techniques for gathering DNA from the waters at various depths. Neil was inspired to this research from reading MT alum Darren Naish’s book Hunting Monsters, which is now available in paperback. Neil was inspired to this research from reading MT alum Darren Naish’s book Hunting Monsters, which is now available in paperback. Read the episode notes
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we present part two of Blake’s interview with screenwriter Richard Hatem about his work adapting John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies for the 2002 motion picture. If you missed Part I last week, listen to it first. Read the episode notes
In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake interviews screenwriter Richard Hatem about his work adapting John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies for the 2002 motion picture. This wide-ranging discussion is broken into two parts. Part two will air next week, but Patreon supporters will have early access through http://patreon.com/monstertalk. Read the episode notes
The history of magic and science converged in the explosive life of Jack Parsons. By day he was a pioneer in the field of rocket propulsion whose work helped win WWII. By night he performed magic rituals and hoped to invoke powers which would change the world. Researcher Jerry Drake joins us to tell the astonishing story of Jack Parsons, a man whose short life seemed to intersect with some of the most intriguing figures in pop-culture, religion and science, but whose career contributions seemed on the verge of being forgotten until very recently. Parsons is the subject of a new CBS television series, based on the book Strange Angel. Read the episode notes
Since the late 1990s people have been reporting strange incidents and injuries when touring the graveyard known as the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Some call it The Mackenzie Poltergeist, but whatever you call it it’s been the claimed cause of numerous injuries and scary stories. In this episode we interview City of the Dead tour-guide Fred Fogarty. We discuss the history of the site, some of the stories, and how one might do deeper research into this mystery. Note: Fred will be appearing at the Hawaii Paranormal Conference July 13–15, 2018. Read the episode notes
Allison Jornlin is a paranormal researcher and host of The Otherside podcast. She’s been diligently researching the recent (2017–present) Chicago Mothman sightings as popularized on Lon Strickler’s Phantoms and Monsters website and book. You can find all of Allison’s on-site video recordings from her Mothman research on YouTube. Read the episode notes
We’re getting our minds in the gutter this week but hopefully won’t leave you drained as we climb into the nooks and crevices of Yale University’s gargoyles and grotesques with photographer and author Mathew Duman, author of An Education in the Grotesque: The Gargoyles of Yale University. Read the episode notes