98 episodes

Southern Mysteries explores history and mysteries of the American South. Each episode features a story that originates in a southern state. The show is unique in that subject matter varies with each new episode. From true crime to folklore and mysteries to legendary figures, you’ll hear a unique take on the story and the history behind it.

Southern Mysteries Podcast Shannon Ballard

    • History
    • 4.9 • 543 Ratings

Southern Mysteries explores history and mysteries of the American South. Each episode features a story that originates in a southern state. The show is unique in that subject matter varies with each new episode. From true crime to folklore and mysteries to legendary figures, you’ll hear a unique take on the story and the history behind it.

    Episode 101 Sleepwalking Killer of Covington Kentucky

    Episode 101 Sleepwalking Killer of Covington Kentucky

    In August 1943, 15 year old Joan Kiger was accused of murdering her father and younger brother. Her attorney claimed the sleepwalking defense - that Joan shot her family members while having a nightmare. 78 years later there are still questions about what happened inside the Kiger’s home in the summer of 1943


     


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    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com




    Episode Resources

    Mother Loyal to Girl Held in Double Killing. The Rock Island Argus. August 19, 1943


    Kiger Hearing Scheduled for Tuesday, Girl Calm as Murder Warrant is Filed. Cincinnati Enquirer. August 19, 1943


    Startling New Angle Claimed in Double Slaying in Covington. The Park City Daily News. August 22, 1943


    Murder Warrant Issued for Mrs. Carl Kiger. The Lexington Herald. December 7, 1943


    Joan Virtually Admitted Slaying, State Declares. The Louisville Courier-Journal. December 18, 1943


    Joan Kiger Takes Stand to Tell of Twin Killing. Owensboro Messenger. December 21, 1943.


    Joan Kiger Found Not Guilty, All Other Charges Dismissed. Cincinnati Enquirer. December 22, 1943


    Freed In Nightmare Murder, Joan Kiger is Called Maniac. Daily News. April 16, 1944


    The Kiger Murders of 1943. Boone County Public Library Chronicles of Boone County. 


    Kiger Murder. Have Your Say. 


    Sleepwalking Killers. Psychology Today. December 13, 2012


    11 Sleepwalking Killers from History Will Make You Want to Bar Your Doors At Night. History Collection. November 21, 2017

    Episode Music


    Comfortable Mystery, Tranquility Base, Almost F in Tranquility, Dhaka, Lamentation, Colorless Aura and Dreams Become Real by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com. Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 39 min
    Episode 100 What Lies Beneath the Surface of Lake Lanier

    Episode 100 What Lies Beneath the Surface of Lake Lanier

    Lake Lanier is one of the deadliest lakes in America. Some swear it's haunted by the spirits of those whose lives tragically ended in the lake. Others believe it was cursed from the start because of the dark history associated with the land and people who lived in the area before the lake was created


     


    Want more Southern Mysteries?  Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries



    Connect


    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 


     


    Episode Resources


    Phillips, P. (2016). Blood at the root: a racial cleansing in America (First edition.). W.W. Norton & Company.


    Rivers Held a Spiritual Place in the Lives of the Cherokee. Humanities by National Endowment for Humanities. Summer 2019. 


    Deadliest day at Lake Lanier | 1964 Christmas tragedy. 11 Alive News. December 10, 2019.


    Cemeteries of Lake Lanier. North Gwinnett Voice. March 9, 2020.


    Quick Facts Forsyth County, Georgia. US Census. 


    The mysteries beneath the waters. Tallahassee Tribune. September 2, 2020.


    Below the surface: How Lake Lanier came to be. Forsyth County News. September 8, 2020.


    One of Georgia’s most well known lakes has a murky history. The Signal. April 6, 2021.


    Mooney, J., & Mooney, J. (1982). Myths of the Cherokee ; and, Sacred formulas of the Cherokees. Nashville, Tenn: Charles and Randy Elder-Booksellers.

    Episode Music


    Ambient and Drone in D by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com


    No. 8 Requiem and No 6 In My Dreams by Esther Abrami Licensed under Creative Commons; Argonne by Zachariah Hickman Licensed under Creative Commons; Spirit of Fire by Jesse Gallager Licensed under Creative Commons


    Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 39 min
    Episode 99 The Man Who Stole Halloween

    Episode 99 The Man Who Stole Halloween

    Nearly fifty years ago the country mourned eight year old Timothy O’Bryan who died in his Texas home after eating poisoned trick or treat candy on Halloween. Timothy’s death changed Halloween celebrations for generations of children 


     


    Want more Southern Mysteries? 


    Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries


     


    Connect


    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 


     


    Episode Resources


    Ronald Clark O'BRYAN, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee. September 26, 1979. 


    The ex-wife of Ronald Clark O'Bryan, awaiting his execution. UPI. March 30, 1984


    The True Story of the Notorious Trick-or-Treat Murderer. Vice. October 31, 2016.


    35 years later, memories of notorious Halloween ‘Candyman’ murder remain vivid. Statesman News Network. October 14, 2016


    Looking back at the 'Candy Man' 42 years later. Houston Chronicle. November 1, 2016.


    The Candyman: Houston's own real-life Halloween horror story. ABC 13 Eyewitness News. October 13, 2018.


    How Trick-or-Treating Became a Halloween Tradition. History. October 3, 2019

    Episode Music


    Lost Time, Ambient, Ossuary 1 A Beginning, Ossuary 6 Air, B Somber Ballad and Long Note One by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com


    Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 35 min
    Episode 98 The Cult of the Unknown Tongues

    Episode 98 The Cult of the Unknown Tongues

    In February 1933 a church service in a Kentucky mountain town ended with the death of 72 year old Lucinda Mills. Nine relatives would be accused of murder while the media labelled her death a human sacrifice. What happened in that cabin?


     


    Want more Southern Mysteries? 


    Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries


     


    Connect


    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 


     


    Episode Resources


    Laben T. Mills Obituary. Big Sandy News. July 31,1914


    Lucinda Ward Mills. Find A Grave. [Lucinda’s age listed as 65 here but based off of census records she was believed to have been 72] 


    Burning of Body on Altar Halted by Inez Police. The Owensboro Inquirer. February 9, 1933 


    Cult Victim Held Willing Sacrifice. The Courier-Journal. February 10, 1933


    Insanity Plea Planned in Cult Slaying Case. The Courier-Journal. February 11, 1933


    Bare Details of ‘Sacrifice’ Death Scene. Indianpolis Times. February 11, 1933


    Mills Held Without Bond for Slaying Mother in Cult ‘Sacrifice’. The Lexington Herald. February 12, 1933


    Nine Relatives of Cult Victim Are Indicted. The Owensboro Messenger. April 5, 1933


    Insanity Held Slaying Cause. The Courier-Journal. April 7, 1933


    Two Relative Freed In Cult Slaying Trial. The Lexington Leader. April 9, 1933


    Prosecutor Contends Slayers of Mrs Mills Cold Blooded Murderers. The Courier-Journal. April 10, 1933


    Mills Kneeling on Mother’s Body Fought Deputies. The Owensboro Inquirer. April 11, 1933


    Cult Case Goes to Jury. The Courier Journal. April 12, 1933


    Cult Leader Is Given Life Term for Matricide. The Courier-Journal. April 12, 1933


    Blaine McGinnis is Given Pardon. Lexington Herald-Leader. November 3, 1933


    The Mysterious “Order of the Odd Fellows”. Messy Nessy. January 2020. 


    Odd Fellows Have Skeletons in Their Closets--and Their Walls and Attics. Los Angeles Times. April 2001.


     


    Episode Music


    Clean Soul, Concentration, Tranquility Base, Almost F in Tranquility, Drone in D and Loss by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com


    The Dark Glow of the Mountains and There’s Probably No Time by Chris Zabriske  Licensed under Creative Commons


    Elegy by Asher Fulero Licensed under Creative Commons


    Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 42 min
    Episode 97 Affairs of Honor

    Episode 97 Affairs of Honor

    Duels were common in America until the end of the Civil War. They were most common in the south where the slightest offense could result in a challenge with duelists following a “polite” code of honor.


     


    Want more Southern Mysteries? 


    Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries


     


    Connect


    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 


     


    Episode Sources


    Field of Honor: A Complete and Comprehensive History of Duelling in All Countries. 1884


    Savannah Duels. Chatham County GaArchives History. 1923


    Dueling. Encyclopedia of Arkansas. 15 March 2013


    8 Legendary Duels. History


    "Mourn Columbia!": The Death and Legacy of Stephen Decatur. White House History. November 25, 2019.


    The History of Dueling in America. PBS American Experience. 


    In the Defense of Honor: The Rise and Fall of Dueling in America. Ultimate History Project. 


    Before Burr shot Hamilton, this 1800s Kentucky duel ended in bloodshed. Courier Journal. June 13, 2019. 


     


    Episode Music


    Lost, Almost in F Tranquility and Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com


    Northern Lights by Chris Haugen, Spirit of Fire by Jesse Gallagher and Alone with my Thoughts by Esther Abrami Licensed under Creative Commons


    Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 31 min
    Episode 96 Windsor Ruins

    Episode 96 Windsor Ruins

    The ruins of Windsor are among the most photographed historic sites in Mississippi. 23 towering columns that cast long shadows on the history of the once grand mansion and places like it across the American south. 


     


    Want more Southern Mysteries? 


    Patrons get monthly bonus content called Southern Mysteries Shorts! Join today at patreon.com/southernmysteries


     


    Connect


    Website: southernmysteries.com
    Facebook: Southern Mysteries Podcast
    Twitter: @southernpod_
    Instagram: @explorethesouth
    Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 


     


    Episode Sources


    Windsor Ruins National Register of HIstoric Places Nomination. 1971, updated 1992


    "Burning of the Daniell Residence." The Southern Reveille. February 21, 1890


    The Ruins of Windsor. WLBT. April 30, 2011


    Cotton. Mississippi Encyclopedia. July 10, 2017.


    The Creation Of The Cotton Kingdom. African American History and Culture.


    United States Census, 1860. Claiborne County, Mississippi. Population Schedules


    Windsor Ruins, Mississippi – A Silent Sentinel to the Magnificent South. Legends of America. November 2019. 


    The Windsor Ruins of Mississippi. Parker Studios. June 11, 2019.


     


    Episode Music


    Sense of Loss by Purple Planet Music. Purple-planet.com. Licensed under Creative Commons

    Fresh Fallen Snow by Chris Haugen and I Need To Start Writing Things Down and I Am A Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor by Chris Zabriske. Licensed under Creative Commons 

    Autumn Sunset, Relaxing Piano Music and March of the Minds by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com

    Devouring the Whole by Ross Gentry. Special thanks to Headway Recordings, in Asheville, North Carolina for permission for use

    Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
543 Ratings

543 Ratings

dw-asheville ,

Great Southern Podcast

I live in North Carolina and love stories of southern history. Shannon does a great job of finding topics, research, and presentation. Especially considering she is a one woman band! Her voice is at the perfect sound level and is so easy to understand. And she presents things beautifully, not like she is reading off a paper or screen. This is now one of my go to podcasts. And if you aren’t drawn in by the episode on Lake Lanier, you must be in a coma !

hharisodnf r ,

Happy 100th Episode.

I loved this episode on Oscarville. I had never heard this story before. I know about what happened in Rosewood, FL but this was new to me. It was very informative and you told the story in a very respectful way. Congratulations on 100 episodes and keep it up. Looking forward to many more.
You are awesome,
Heather Stewart

Fitnessluva ,

Excellent

I don’t know how I came to listen to this podcast because I normally wouldn’t be interested in stories specific to the south. But I’m so glad I did. Shannon picks lots of interesting unknown crimes when others regurgitate the same old ones. Her voice and inflection draws me in. Her storytelling ability is great.

I’m 100% a yankee and have come to love this podcast.

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