150 episodes

American Hysteria explores how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture – moral panics, urban legends, hoaxes, crazes, fringe beliefs, and national misunderstandings. Poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith tells the strangest stories from American history and examines the forces that create the reality we share, and sometimes, the reality we don't.

American Hysteria chelsey weber-smith

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 83 Ratings

American Hysteria explores how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture – moral panics, urban legends, hoaxes, crazes, fringe beliefs, and national misunderstandings. Poet-turned-podcaster Chelsey Weber-Smith tells the strangest stories from American history and examines the forces that create the reality we share, and sometimes, the reality we don't.

    Haunted Objects of Our Affection with Podcaster Jim Perry of Euphomet

    Haunted Objects of Our Affection with Podcaster Jim Perry of Euphomet

    Paranormal podcast host (and major buddy) Jim Perry of Euphomet returns to discuss a couple of the many experiences that have made it impossible for us to live purely skeptical lives: his time getting personal with a haunted doll and my time getting personal with the ghost that tried to burn my house down. As usual, expect lots of philosophical waxing from both of us about the mysteries of the supernatural and about how no one really knows anything, no matter what they say.

    Listen to Euphomet
    Follow Jim on Twitter // Instagram

    Become a Patreon!
    Produced by Miranda Zickler
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 57 min
    Our Halloween Open Mic

    Our Halloween Open Mic

    Featuring poems, fiction, nonfiction, AND A GROUP SONG with work by Sarah Marshall (You're Wrong About, You Are Good), Alex Steed (You Are Good), BJ Colangelo (This Ends at Prom), Will Rogers (Guide to the Unknown), Carolyn Kendrick (You're Wrong About, You Are Good), Miranda Zickler (Kuinka), Riley Swedelius-Smith (American Hysteria), and Chelsey Weber-Smith (me duh)

    To get an mp3 of our Halloween song, head to patreon.com/americanhysteria

    In order of appearance:
    Will Rogers
    Guide to the Unknown

    BJ Colangelo
    This Ends at Prom

    Sarah Marshall
    You’re Wrong About
    You Are Good

    Alex Steed
    You Are Good

    Miranda Zickler
    Kuinka

    Carolyn Kendrick

    Riley Swedelius-Smith
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Halloween Sadism from Cautionary Tales

    Halloween Sadism from Cautionary Tales

    Here’s a preview from a podcast that's right up your dark alley! On Cautionary Tales, bestselling author Tim Harford finds the morals in moments from the greatest mistakes and tragic catastrophes of the past. This Halloween season, he’s exploring “Halloween sadism” – where a stranger puts something dangerous in the treats collected by children. Razor blades in apples. Rat poison in chocolate. That sort of thing. Fantastical reports of trouble pop up every spooky season, but is trick or treating really something to worry about? Or is there a deadlier danger awaiting children on Halloween night? Hear the full episode, and more from Cautionary Tales, at https://podcasts.pushkin.fm/cthalloween?sid=hysteria
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 15 min
    Haunted Dolls

    Haunted Dolls

    We'll see how possessed playthings have crept their way into the dark attic of America: Thomas Edison's little monsters, a demonic Raggedy Ann, a living ventriloquist dummy, a deadly voodoo curse, and an online market where you can buy yourself a soul trapped in the body of a doll.

    Become a Patron and support our show!

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

    American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
    Co-produced and co-edited by Miranda Zickler
    Co-researched and co-editing by Riley Smith
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Voice Acting by Will Rogers
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    The Uncanny Valley of the Dolls

    The Uncanny Valley of the Dolls

    To get you ready for our upcoming episode called Haunted Dolls, we have selected some excerpts on Furby urban legends, demon-possessed toys, and uncanny killer clowns.

    Listen to Furby here
    Listen to Satanic Panic pt. 1 here
    Listen to Phantom Clowns here

    Become a Patron at patreon.com/chelseywebersmith
    Produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith, Riley Smith, and Miranda Zickler
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 39 min
    Rainbow Fentanyl: Poisoned Halloween Candy Rerelease

    Rainbow Fentanyl: Poisoned Halloween Candy Rerelease

    Our most classic American urban legend is back with a vengeance, promising to ruin Halloween yet again. With an updated introduction to our 2018 episode, we'll explore the newest fearful iteration: Rainbow Fentanyl. Are drug traffickers really passing out a deadly drug disguised as colorful candy in order to get kids hooked? And if not, who stands to gain from reviving this debunked tall tale?

    For more information about how to access Naloxone (Narcan), you can use this link to the National Harm Reduction Coalition

    Become a Patron and support our show!

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

    American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
    Edited by Miranda Zickler and Riley Smith
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Voice Acting by Will Rogers
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
83 Ratings

83 Ratings

Joel Cat ,

Fascinating discourse on American weirdness

I love this so much! Chelsea and Miranda research their often-difficult topics meticulously before they’re presented in the show in such a sensitive and humane way.

American history and current events really shapes things here in the UK. However, due to what I’d speculate is our (potentially) snooty national denial of US influence despite its very clear evidence, it isn’t taught and it isn’t talked about or even really acknowledged. An old history teacher I had used to frequently make a racist ‘joke’ in class that America ‘doesn’t have history’ - I think that says it all.

So your show is enlightening me on the current relevance of our shameful past and unfolding events in the present like the tragic inception of the incel movement. It helps me understand our world, challenge my perceptions and misconceptions constantly and care slightly less about what’s going on in my head and more about what’s happening in the world and if we can somehow help people around us.

Thank you for all your work, it’s treasured. Chelsea - you helped me understand myself to be non-binary which brought a lifetime of sketchy confusion into focus so a special thank you for that. Don’t ever change unless y’all want to!

Love from a fellow neurotic seeker over the pond,
Joel

P.S. Also a sorry - I had to stop my Patreon donation for a bit cos I’m skint, just moved to Manchester.

Carlonseider ,

Weird delivery

I like this podcast but had to unsubscribe because the presenter’s voice is so affected and annoying. Just talk normally without the strange exaggerated inflections!

Li Bor ,

Terrible presentation

Great topic for a podcast and interesting content BUT it seems she's just reading off a page and doesn't really know what she's reading. Weird emphasis on odd words and talks as if we are morons- sloooow. Such a shame.

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