July 7, 2020
Once again we welcome Sara Head from ArchyFantasies on to talk about the strange television show The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Is it good? (Spoilers - not if you want anything to happen in your TV shows.) But it was fun to sit down with Sara and talk again.
June 24, 2020
Jerry Drake returns to talk BEKs and other strangeness. A MonsterTalk Live recording. Explicit Tag.
June 2, 2020
We interview Dr. David Aveline about his new project studying people who see or experience ghosts.  He's just getting started, but it's a really interesting conversation about how one puts together research into such a strange and complicated topic.
May 15, 2020
In the March 29th episode, Karen and Blake hang out and take listener questions.
May 15, 2020
Actor Douglas Tate joins us to talk about playing monsters in film.  Douglas has played Bigfoot more than any other actor. (IMDB) Douglas Tait was born on December 17, 1978 in Tarzana, California, USA as Douglas J. Tait. He is known for his work on Annabelle Comes Home (2019), Hellboy (2019) and Legacies (2018).
May 6, 2020
[EXPLICIT] Audio from 22MAR2020 MonsterTalk Live with Dr. Brian Sharpless, discussing real world psychology and monsters.
April 25, 2020
Karen and Blake discuss the new film We Believe in Dinosaurs with filmmaker Clayton Brown (who co-directed with Monica Long Ross) and paleontologist Dan Phelps.
March 31, 2020
Today Karen and Blake discuss "Screaming Skulls" - a surprisingly common yet particularly English kind of haunting. Karen has a new short story based on this legend.
March 29, 2020
We're doing a live video-chat with guest Brian Sharpless. Sunday night March 29, 2020 9 pm EST   The show is free - but it's being streamed via Facebook so you'll need to join the MonsterTalk Facebook Group to participate.
March 29, 2020
It's Blake here! I made a little cameo over at Hayley Stevens' podcast The Spooktator, joining Jeb Card (In ReSearch Of) to talk about the paranormal series HELLIER (Amazon, YouTube).  If you're not familiar with that show, it's an independent paranormal show that combines pretty much every kind of paranormal topic you can think of into a strange narrative about... you know what? Just check it out.
March 15, 2020
Discussing COVID19 with virology expert Vincent Racaniello. Best place to get up to date Covid19 Information:  WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) sites for the latest factual information on this pandemic.
March 11, 2020
We are joined by author Kathryn Hulick, author of the new book "Strange but True: 10 of the World's Greatest Mysteries Explained." The book introduces 10 weird topics covering everything from Atlantis to Zombies and meshes it all with skepticism and critical thinking. It's a great way to introduce a curious teen to the strange and unusual while arming them with the right tools to examine the questions critically. Topics include haunted houses, zombies, the mystery of Dyatlov pass and more.
March 2, 2020
The world can be a pretty mysterious place and we at Live Science love to ask and answer questions about mysteries big and small: about ancient civilizations, our planet and our solar system, the plants and animals that live alongside us, our bodies and how they work, and the technologies that we use every day. Join us on this exciting voyage of discovery and downright weirdness as we solve… Life’s Little Mysteries.
February 22, 2020
We welcome Dr. James Mueller, associate dean of Journalism at the University of North Texas, in a discussion of how to read historical (and current) news about monsters.
February 1, 2020
Karen Stollznow tells us about the 1921 Australian events known as The Guyra Ghost. (Concurrent with her Fortean Times piece in Jan 2020 edition)
January 22, 2020
We are joined by Rebecca Fox, who has been both a witch and a science & skepticism advocate, to discuss the history of modern witchcraft.
December 29, 2019
Tana Owens Orman joins us to discuss burial practices. Victorians, mummies, space, tombs, legends and more.
December 24, 2019
A reading of The Night Wire by H. F. Arnold.
December 19, 2019
We're joined by veteran monster investigator Joe Nickell (of CSI) to discuss three historic sea monster cases he thinks he's solved. Classic monsters and science in this one.
December 12, 2019
Hopefully in time for your holiday season, we finally have a merch shop: 30% off sale going on as I post this - hope you find something for you or a loved one in your life!
November 15, 2019
This episode we look at Will O' The Wisp, Ghost Lights, Ball Lightning and all manner of glowing monstrous and bizarre lucent phenomena.  Joining us for the discussion is researcher, Jerry Drake.
October 29, 2019
Carlyn Beccia has written a new book for kids that combines Monsters and Science! Monstrous: The Lore, Gore and Science Behind Your Favorite Monsters is an ooey-gooey romp through the world of monsters and the many fascinating things you can learn when you apply science to their premises.
October 23, 2019
Discussion is on serial killers, their motivations, their methodologies and how to balance fascination with the macabre with keeping the victims rather than the killers foremost in mind. Listener discretion advised.
October 5, 2019
This is a sample episode of our new show In reSearch Of, which I'm co-hosting with Jeb Card.  I hope you'll consider subscribing.  I'm planning to keep the regular IRO episodes free, but offer bonus content for Patreon supporters. This is the pilot episode of In reSearch Of, the show where we watch the original TV show IN SEARCH OF… and consider some of the explanations that the producers chose not to present. In our inaugural episode, we watch the TV Special In Search of Ancient Astronauts, a repackaged cut of a German documentary about Eric Von Daniken's book Chariots of the Gods.  We want to thank Rachel and Chris Lackey for the theme music (And Greig Johnson!). They host the excellent show Rachel Watches Star Trek.  Also, we want to credit Jason Colavito for his excellent research into this and many adjacent topics around the Ancient Astronauts and Ancient Aliens tropes of the past fifty years, including his book:  The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture (Seriously - check out this link to Jason's article. He gives some great contemporary detail on the impact of this TV special such as "... within 48 hours of the program’s broadcast, Bantam Books had sold 250,000 new copies of Chariots of the Gods."  Amazing.) Oh - so as Jeb mentions, EVD is directly mentioned in the brainstorming session with Lucas, Spielberg, and Kasdan! You can check that out here. Walter Conkrite's  UFO's Friend, Foe or Fantasy  UFO documentary Show Notes: Dr. Harold P. Klein worked for NASA and was a major figure in the Viking mission. The Baghdad Battery - no reason to believe this was ever used as a battery. More likely a scroll container. (Featured on Episode 16 - season 3 - of Mythbusters) Star Trek Into Darkness (you can watch the clip here)  Mesoamerican Sites: Olmec Heads Tula Teotihuacan Chichen Itza Tiwanaku Piri Reis map Wernher Von Braun  Stonehenge  How did the ancients move stones? Theme music (updated!) is by Rachel Lackey & Greig Johnson.  
October 5, 2019
A look back at the highly influential television show In Search Of... which was hosted by Leonard Nimoy.  Features remembrances from Steven Novella, Lyle Blackburn, Matthew Baxter, and Brian Dunning. Along with archaeologist Jeb Card, I'm launching a new show called In Research Of... which will revisit this original series and add some explanations the producers chose not to include. (Link to show on iTunes.) In Search Of... had 6 seasons in its original run and you can currently (as of this posting) view them all on YouTube.   Thanks to everyone for supporting us to reach 200 episodes! Karen and I are excited about producing many more. 
September 4, 2019
Is the Ouija Board a tool for talking to the dead? Or is it just a game from Hasbro? We dig into the history of Talking Boards with Robert Murch!   LINKS: The Talking Board Historical Society (Est. 2013) Helen Peter Nosworthy Michael Faraday & Spiritualism  
September 1, 2019
In a follow-up to our episode on Gargoyles, photographer and author Mathew M. Duman has produced a new book visiting ten American campuses with gothic architectural and artistic features to document them for your edification and delight. Check out his book, The Grotesque 10 at his website. During our interview, we talked about the term for the sculptures on a church bench. Some of these are called Bench Ends, and others are called Poppy Heads. I thought I should include that detail here. You can check out my new show, The Horror Podcast by subscribing via the links on this page.
August 11, 2019
What is it like to be an ordained minister who loves the macabre? We talk with author Peter Laws to find out.
August 9, 2019
Ticks, Lyme disease, exsanguinated cows and other fun with Dr. Danielle Tufts.
July 29, 2019
The shocking true story of our nation's first president cryptozoologist.
July 15, 2019
Are the legends of the Mapinguari based on sightings of a Giant Sloth? Dr. Richard A. Fariña helps us compare the lore to the fossil record.
June 28, 2019
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
June 18, 2019
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
May 28, 2019
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
May 27, 2019
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
May 16, 2019
An interview with White House historian Lindsay Chervinsky (of the White House Historical Association) about the ghostly legends of the White House. Read the episode notes
May 2, 2019
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
May 2, 2019
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.  
April 15, 2019
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
April 3, 2019
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
March 29, 2019
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
March 9, 2019
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
March 9, 2019
  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
February 23, 2019
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
January 30, 2019
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.
January 29, 2019
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.
December 25, 2018
For the Annual MonsterTalk Christmas Special, Blake Smith reads The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. Read the episode notes
December 25, 2018
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
December 18, 2018
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
November 30, 2018
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
November 26, 2018
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
November 12, 2018
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
October 30, 2018
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
October 29, 2018
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
October 24, 2018
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  
October 17, 2018
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
October 10, 2018
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
October 3, 2018
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
October 2, 2018
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
September 26, 2018
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
September 24, 2018
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
September 12, 2018
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
September 4, 2018
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  
August 29, 2018
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
August 24, 2018
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.  
July 31, 2018
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  
July 25, 2018
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
July 17, 2018
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  
July 12, 2018
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
June 27, 2018
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
June 20, 2018
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  
June 6, 2018
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
May 30, 2018
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 Read the episode notes  
May 23, 2018
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  
May 16, 2018
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
May 1, 2018
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
April 18, 2018
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
March 28, 2018
In the new movie Rampage, a giant mutant crocodile joins up with a giant ape and a giant wolf to destroy Chicago. But this is not the first giant croc to hit the big screen. Lake Placid (1999) and Alligator (1980) are just two of the many horror films that pit giant crocodilians against puny humans. The fossil record tells us that giant crocs did once roam the earth, but are they still out there today? Join us as we talk with Dr. Paul Willis about crocodiles, alligators and the facts and myths surrounding these amazing but dangerous animals. Read the episode notes
March 14, 2018
  In this episode of MonsterTalk, we complete our discussion about Western Esotericism with John L. Crow. In this final part we talk about the life of occultist Aleister Crowley, a man some called The Wickedest Man on Earth. Read the episode notes
February 28, 2018
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we continue our discussion about Western Esotericism with John L. Crow. In part two, we talk about the origins of Theosophy, the nature of secret and occult societies in this era, and the groundwork that led to the rise of magical orders in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Theosophy figures into the modern Western conception of Tulpas, which we discussed in episode 86, and also Slenderman. Read the episode notes
February 14, 2018
The Winchester Mystery House is a sprawling Victorian mansion in San Jose, California. It is a famous piece of American architectural history, yet nearly every story commonly told about its mysterious history is likely untrue. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we are joined by Colin Dickey, author of the fantastic book Ghostland to discuss the case of the Winchester house and some of the other fascinating places he covers in his fascinating work. Read the episode notes  
January 30, 2018
The 19th century saw the rise of a variety of secret and secretive movements. Free Masons, Spiritualists, Theosophy and Esoteric Orders give rise to a variety of mystic-themed groups whose influence lurks under the mainstream themes of the 19th century. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we talk with religious studies scholar John Crow about the birth of these movements and how they influenced 19th (and 20th) century thought. Read the episode notes  
January 17, 2018
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we return to discussion of the Ultraterrestrial Hypothesis (UTH) and what seems to be its growing influence in paranormal circles. It’s been used to explain UFOs, mothman, bigfoot, fairies, dogman, ghosts and many other phenomena which defy scientific demonstrability. Now it crops up again in a new film event titled Alien Intrusion which turned out to be a stealth evangelical creationist film which suggests that aliens and UFOs are actually demonic. We are joined by MonsterTalk alum Joe Laycock, Natasha Mikles and Jeb Card to discuss the UTH and Jeb’s Paranormal Unified Field Theory (PUFT) as it relates to this film and the work of John Keel and others. Read the episode notes
January 3, 2018
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we creep narratively into the swamps of South Carolina as we talk of the strange lizard man who is alleged to live in the swamps outside Bishopville. Lyle Blackburn leads our expedition as he recounts the story as told in his book Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster. Lyle previously joined us for episode 106: What The Fouke? The Beast of Boggy Creek. Read the episode notes
December 24, 2017
For the Annual MonsterTalk Christmas Special, Blake Smith reads The Open Window by H. H. Munro (Saki). READ episode notes
December 20, 2017
MonsterTalk interviews Seth Shostak, chief astronomer for the SETI Institute, and host of their podcast and radio show, Big Picture Science. Our interview questions come from Facebook listeners, and we also comment on recent news regarding secret US government UFO research. Read the episode notes
December 6, 2017
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we welcome back alum Don Prothero (Episode 22, Episode 43, Episode 68) and first time guest Timothy Callahan to discuss their new book: UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says. From an introduction to the scientific method, to the often overlooked explanations behind many undying legends of the UFO field, the two authors dive deep into the conspiracies, misconceptions, hoaxes and religions that have emerged from the field of UFOlogy. Read the episode notes
November 29, 2017
MonsterTalk continues its series on Magic with Part II of its coverage of Grimoires. We continue our interview with researcher Jerry Drake, and focus on the view of magic books in various magical traditions of Western Europe. Read the episode notes
November 22, 2017
In this episode MonsterTalk continues its special series on Magic as it examines the history of Grimoires in Western culture. State Department Archivist Jerry Drake, PhD, discusses the history of magic books, magic writing and how it fits into the history of science. This is the first of a two-part interview. Read the episode notes
November 14, 2017
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we interview cryptozoology enthusiast Colin Schneider, a young and enthusiastic researcher of Fortean and paranormal topics about his research into animal exsanguination. It’s a fun discussion of the field of cryptozoology, the disturbing topic of animal mutilation and the work done by the British organization, the Center for Fortean Zoology. Read the episode notes
October 30, 2017
Happy Halloween! In this special bonus episode (no charge for our Patreon supporters) we join the Archeology Fantasies podcast crew (Sarah Head, Jeb Card and Ken Feder) to talk about “Haunted Objects” and a variety of other spooky topics. Warning: The language in this episode is uncensored, there are way too many puns, and alcohol was consumed during the recording. You’ve been warned. Read the episode notes.
October 30, 2017
  Just in time for Halloween, we begin our multi-episode coverage of "magic" by taking a look at the witch in Western European culture with the editor of The Skeptic, Deborah Hyde (@Jourdemayne). In a wide-ranging conversation we talk about the alleged powers of witches, the difference between the more benign figure of the Cunning Woman and the culturally monstrous figure of the witch as viewed during Witch Crazes and Witch Hunts. Read the episode notes.
October 18, 2017
Our final part of our three-part look at the Kentucky Goblins case of 1955 concludes with an interview with the hosts of Astonishing Legends, Scott Philbrook and Forrest Burgess. We discuss the facts of the case, possible explanations, and the problems with the Wikipedia entry and the scholarly journal article cited within it. This episode’s topic is also discussed in a blog post by Blake Smith: Astonishing Legends, Questionable Facts. If you missed them, be sure to listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of American Goblins. Read the episode notes
October 11, 2017
In this episode of MonsterTalk — The Science Show About Monsters, we continue our examination of the case of the Kentucky Goblins. Blake is joined by CSI investigator Joe Nickell to discuss the details of the Kelly-Hopkinsville case and what real world creature Joe thinks best accounts for the mysterious events on that Kentucky farm back in 1955. Read the episide notes
October 4, 2017
In August of 1955, a farm family in Kentucky found their home under attack by strange goblin-like monsters. In the years since the attack, the case has retained a perplexing endurance. What happened that night in Kentucky? Were aliens to blame? Underworld monsters? Misidentified natural causes? This is part one of our discussion of what has become known as The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter. Read the episide notes
September 20, 2017
In this episode of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake discuss MonsterTalk’s presence at Dragon*Con and CryptidCon 2017. Blake got to travel to Kentucky for the inaugural cryptid-themed convention and had many interesting interactions with monster fans from across the country. Read the episode notes
August 30, 2017
In this episode of MonsterTalk, we take a look at the convergence of science and monsters, as Blake Smith prepares to talk at 2017’s CryptidCon in Frankfort, Kentucky. What does science have to tell us about monsters? Read the episode notes
August 16, 2017
Australia is home to monsters both real and legendary. In a country where a tiny octopus is toxic enough to kill 20 adults, where huge spiders can catch birds and eat them, where people are so tough that they voluntarily eat Vegemite, what kind of creature could be the apex monster? Not the bunyip. Not the yowie. Keep looking up in the trees; it’s time to face the dropbears! Read the episode notes
July 26, 2017
Author Scott Poole (previously with us for Vampira and Monsters in America) joins us to talk about his new biography on American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, In The Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft. What is it about the writing of this peculiar and complicated writer from New England that has cast such an oversized shadow over American literature? Read the episode notes
July 12, 2017
What’s in a name? More than you might imagine, if you’re a scientist trying to officially name a new species. In this episode of MonsterTalk, we talk to Ichthyologist Ben Frable about the process (and many challenges) of scientifically identifying and naming new species. Read the episode notes  
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