135 episodes

American Hysteria explores moral panics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture from the Puritans to the present. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying, sometimes heartfelt, host Chelsey Weber-Smith tells the strangest stories from American history that have created the reality we share, or maybe more accurately, the reality we don't.

American Hysteria chelsey weber-smith

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 2.1K Ratings

American Hysteria explores moral panics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, and how fantastical thinking has shaped our culture from the Puritans to the present. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying, sometimes heartfelt, host Chelsey Weber-Smith tells the strangest stories from American history that have created the reality we share, or maybe more accurately, the reality we don't.

    The Planetary Propaganda of the Anti-Nazi Astrologer

    The Planetary Propaganda of the Anti-Nazi Astrologer

    In 1941, hundreds of British secret agents were sent to the United States to spread creative anti-Nazi propaganda with the hopes of convincing the American people to support military intervention. This included a flamboyant astrologer sent to give false predictions about the imminent downfall of Adolph Hitler.

    Head to choice.crd.co to get involved/find resources in respond to the overturning of Roe V. Wade

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    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
    Produced by Miranda Zickler
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 41 min
    The Supernatural Imaginary of the Third Reich with Historian Eric Kurlander

    The Supernatural Imaginary of the Third Reich with Historian Eric Kurlander

    Dr. Eric Kurlander is the author of Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich which details the occult practices and pseudosciences that many high ranking Nazis investigated at length. This episode will explore the 'supernatural imaginary' the early Nazi party was able to cultivate through a mash-up of esoteric beliefs, astrology, eastern and western religion, and pseudoscience, World Ice Theory, and sensational conspiracy theories. Listen carefully and you will start to hear some things that sound eerily similar to the fringe beliefs becoming normalized in modern America.

    Read Eric's book
    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
    Produced by Miranda Zickler
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Astrology

    Astrology

    This episode is not about debunking astrology, it’s about something far more interesting: the role that star-gazing soothsaying advisors have played in American politics, and the secret history of how first ladies, presidents, and other politicians have been influenced by those swearing that they can see the future. 

    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
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Researched and edited Riley Smith
    Produced and editing by Miranda Zickler
    Voice Acting by Will Rogers
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 54 min
    Pride Rewind: Gender Reveal Parties

    Pride Rewind: Gender Reveal Parties

    In honor of Pride month, here is a little rerelease of last year's special episode! Over the last ten years, Gender Reveal Parties have exploded, figuratively and literally. Parents, communities, and social media followers alike can witness the moment that parents and families find out the sex of their future baby, but lately, these parties have gotten so out of hand as to cause massive wildfires, explosions, damage to homes, injuries, and death. For this episode, we will try to figure out what in the world is going on here by exploring the history of gendered baby items, of the strange divination methods once used to guess the biological sex, and take a look at the idea of rituals around the mystery of pregnancy. Of course, we’ll also ask questions about the regressive nature of this blue and pink gender binary, and I will share a little about my own childhood growing up as a non-binary kid, a word I wouldn’t know for two decades.

    Become a Patron to get access to Hysteria Home Companion and Walk With Me podcasts

    American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
    Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler
    Voice acting by Will Rogers

    Follow American Hysteria on social media:
    Twitter: @AmerHysteria
    Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
    Find our merch at americanhysteria.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    All the Other Snuff with Sarah Marshall of 'You're Wrong About'

    All the Other Snuff with Sarah Marshall of 'You're Wrong About'

    *CW: Brief description of animal abuse, some brief descriptions of death*
    Sarah Marshall is the host of our sibling podcasts You’re Wrong About and You Are Good, and is also an expert on satanic panic in all its myriad forms. Today we discuss the decade that produced snuff urban legends, the other horror movies that added to the lore, and learn about the way this tale continues to express itself on the shadowy dark web.

    Make sure you listen to You’re Wrong About and You Are Good
    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
    Produced by Miranda Zickler
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 58 min
    Rotten.com

    Rotten.com

    Rotten.com was a shock website from the late 90s and early 2000s that collected the most gruesome and explicit photos on the early internet. After a series of outrages pushed it into the public eye, the site would become an unlikely voice in the battle for online free speech at a time when the government was first attempting to censor the net.

    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
    Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
    Researched and edited Riley Smith
    Produced and editing by Miranda Zickler
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
2.1K Ratings

2.1K Ratings

Banana5050 ,

No more rereleases please!

I love this podcast but the episodes are sporadic and there are a lot of rereleases. For something that started in 2018 I would expect more consistency and less repeat episodes. There aren’t even that many to begin with. I want more! 😄

Penny Hughes ,

Oh no your cadence!

Unbearable to listen to. I feel like I’d love this podcast if she didn’t read the script in such an unnatural way.

Bad Fats ,

Love it all, narration included

Wow, a lot of sensitive listeners out there upset with the host’s narration and… pauses. May I recommend some mindfulness activities? What’s the rush? I love this podcast. The topics are fun and the research is good. I loved the episodes on Elsagate and Daytime Talk Shows. Can’t wait to hear more!

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