This American Life
This American Life
This American Life
793: The Problem with Ghosts
1 hour 3 minutes Posted Mar 12, 2023 at 4:00 pm.
Download MP3
Show notes
The ghosts that visit us, the ghosts that never do, and the ghosts that walk among us.
Prologue: Chaunte Vaughn’s mother recently died of Parkinsons. Even though Chaunte doesn't believe in ghosts, she is visited by her mom's ghost multiple times. And, to Chaunte’s disappointment, everything her mother's ghost has to say seems pointless. (8 minutes)
Act One: Reporter Chenjerai Kumanyika visits Savannah, Georgia to learn about the city’s popular ghost tours. He’s heard the tourist attractions actually include the brutal reality of slavery. What he finds is more sinister and complex than advertised. (23 minutes)
Act Two: Abby Stein’s youngest sister got married last month, the last of 13 kids in their family. At the wedding, an uninvited guest showed up. (12 minutes)
Act Three: In the 1920s, at the height of the Spiritualism movement, a friendship blossomed between two men with opposing views on the topic: Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Houdini was a skeptic. Conan Doyle was the de facto leader of the movement. On a vacation in Atlantic City, the famous author tried to help his skeptical friend talk to the ghost of his beloved mother. Sean Cole reports. (13 minutes)